Sri Lanka’s domestic mechanism to be finalised by January

Sri Lanka’s domestic mechanism to be finalised by January

September 17, 2015   04:47 pm

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera says that the setting up of a four-tier domestic mechanism to investigate allegations of human rights violations will be finalised by January 2016 and implemented within 18 months. 

Addressing a media briefing today, the minister said that the consultation process with all relevant parties for establishing the mechanism would commence in the second week of October this year and continue until January. 

“We have informed the UN human right council that we want to put all this in place within maximum 18 months,” he said. 

He stated that a four-tier mechanism has been proposed and that the recommendations of the UNHRC report on Sri Lanka will also be taken into consideration.

He stated that the government is prepared to collect the opinions of all relevant parties before reaching any final decision, be it political parties, victims, religious leaders and civil society.

The Minister clarified that the mechanism will be established not to please the international community or due to pressure from the international community but due to their strong belief that there is no other path for Sri Lanka other than this. 

However, we are prepared to obtain international support, international technology and the advice of international experts when taking this mechanism forward, he said. 

Samaraweera stated that the government has also invited the UN high commissioner for human rights to visit the country at earliest possible. 

Referring to the UN report, he stated that it contains the results of inquiries carried out by the high commission and that the results do not point the finger at any certain individuals. “That task has been left to us in Sri Lanka.”

The Foreign Minister said that more than any of the proposed institutions and mechanisms, the most urgent need is to address the “trust deficit” which exists between the different communities in Sri Lanka. 

“That is why we are determined to create certain institutions which will be able to build the trust confidence of the parties concerned.” He stated that they have to come up with institutions that are credible enough to address the grievances of the communities concerned.

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