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Switzerland calls on Sri Lanka to release list of persons surrendered to armed forces in 2009

Switzerland has called on the Sri Lankan government to release the list of those who surrendered to the army in 2009, a demand which has been reiterated by families of the disappeared throughout their struggle for justice.

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council session on Wednesday, the Swiss mission in Geneva expressed concern at Sri Lanka’s lack of progress in implementing the commitments the government had signed up to in previous human rights council resolutions:

“Switzerland condemns the recent acts of violence in Sri Lanka by extremist groups against the properties of the Muslim community. While noting that the Sri Lankan government has reinstated order, its inadequate response has jeopardized the safety of its citizens. Switzerland believes that only action determined action by the government against impunity, including a process to deal with the past that includes all communities, will stop these cycles of violence.

In this sense, Switzerland is concerned by the lack of progress in the implementation of resolutions 30/1 and 34/1 and calls on Sri Lanka to establish without delay a timetable and benchmarks with indicators. As immediate measures, Switzerland recommends Sri Lanka to publish 1) the list of persons who surrendered to the armed forces at the end of the war in 2009, 2) the final report of the Presidential Commission investigating complaints about missing persons; and 3) the Reparations Office and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

To ensure the effectiveness of these mechanisms, it is essential to ensure the protection and dignity of witnesses, victims and persons appointed to the mechanisms, through an independent authority.”

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