Zeid calls for inclusive and meaningful engagement in Sri Lanka

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein says there needs to be inclusive and meaningful engagement of all Sri Lankans when implementing the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last year.

Speaking during the opening of the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that in Sri Lanka, the Government’s efforts to implement its commitments in Resolution 30/1 will require a comprehensive strategy on transitional justice that enables it to pursue different processes in a coordinated, integrated and appropriately sequenced manner.

“This will require the inclusive and meaningful engagement of all Sri Lankans. I will present an oral update later in the session,” he added.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is to present an oral update on Sri Lanka based on his visit to Sri Lanka earlier this year.

In his speech today, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein also urged every State to fully comply with international human right norms and implement the recommendations of the human rights mechanisms and of his Office.

He also said that all political detainees should be released, and reforms undertaken to ensure fair trials and an impartial and effective administration of justice.

“Independent national institutions and civil society organizations must be free to raise their voice. Freedoms of expression, assembly and association must be respected and wherever people are jailed for exercising these rights – and there are many – I urge the authorities to release them with immediate effect,” he said.

He also said that all forms of discrimination must be eradicated, to ensure that every member of society can freely make choices and participate in decisions. (Colombo Gazette)