UN Official Raises Rights Issue

Christof-Heyns-300x200By Waruni Karunarathne

At the recently concluded 7th Beijing Forum on Human Rights held in Beijing, China, the Director of the Human Rights Treaties Division, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has raised certain concerns over human rights issues in Sri Lanka.

Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) Dr Prathiba Mahanamahewa told The Sunday Leader that he represented the HRCSL at the Beijing forum and explained to the forum of experts that local procedures have been set in place by the Sri Lankan government to address human rights concerns.

Speaking at the forum, he had said that the Sri Lankan government has tabled the witness protection bill and there are several national processes such as Presidential Commission on Missing Persons to address certain human rights issues in the country and to protect the rights of the people.

He added that more than 100 high ranking officials from the United Nations and over 30 countries including Russia, China, Mexico, Canada, South Africa and Nigeria participated in the forum.

“The forum concluded with the note on how to combat terrorism while protecting human rights of the people,” Mahanamahewa added. He said that the representatives unanimously agreed to grasp national security laws to protect human rights of the citizens.