UNHRC: Stringent vetting process targets Sri Lankan military

Many an eyebrow has been raised over Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) call for stringent vetting procedures to prevent those who had been suspected of having committed war time atrocities from taking part in overseas military assignments.

The recommendation has been made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid in accordance with an inquiry conducted by a team headed by Sandra Beidas, formerly of the Amnesty International.

Recently, the UN terminated the largest Sri Lankan peacekeeping mission in the Haiti launched in 2004. Since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, the US and some of its allies deprived some senior officials of training slots as well as opportunity to participate in various programmes.

CLINTONGeneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) authorised the Beidas probe consequent to Resolution 25/1 moved in March 2014.

Prince Zeid has requested the UN system and all member states to apply rigorous vetting procedures for Sri Lankan personnel taking part in UN peacekeeping missions, military exchanges and training programmes.

The OHCHR also called for the arrest of those who had been responsible for torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity under universal jurisdiction.

Security sources told The Island that the UN had also directed an exclusive vetting process meant to remove those officers who had been found guilty of human rights violations.

Prince Zeid also recommended that the setting up of what it called a credible and independent institution in place of the the Presidential Commission Investigating Cases of Missing Persons appointed by the previous government.

Calling for far reaching reforms in the security sector, the UN also asserted that the armed forces, police as well as intelligence services hadn’t undergone significant downsizing since the conclusion of the conflict.