International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGO) are to add pressure on Sri Lanka during the 27th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) which begins in Geneva today.
Some INGOs have already submitted documents on Sri Lanka to be read on a day allocated for INGOs and human rights groups.
Among the documents submitted is one by the Asian Legal Resource Centre, which notes that as long as the government of Sri Lanka refuses to become a signatory to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, it is justifiable to accuse it of being complicit in allowing enforced disappearances.
“This refusal to become a party to the convention has arisen from the premise that forbidding enforced disappearances is an undue restriction on the police, military, and other law enforcement agencies. The government’s approval for resorting to enforced disappearances under certain circumstances is implied in the government’s refusal to become a party to this convention. This position is contrary to the government’s obligations under international law and under the normal obligations of legitimate governance,” the Asian Legal Resource Centre has said in its submission.
The Asian Legal Resource Centre is of the view that one of the major causes of enforced disappearances, as well as extrajudicial killings, is the virtual collapse of the public justice system within Sri Lanka, due to politicization of the police, prosecutorial branch, and the judiciary, which, in turn, is a result of the authoritarian form of government that has developed due to the 1978 Constitution and reinforced by the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
Another INGO, the Pasumai Thaayagam Foundation, in its submission to the Council for the 27th session, says a system similar to the British Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) should be introduced in Sri Lanka.
It calls for the full and proper implementation of anti-trafficking policies adding that any politicians and other government officials engaged in trafficking must be identified and prosecuted.
It also calls on the government to ensure all IDPS and returnees have the necessary Identification documents, as a national priority. (Colombo Gazette)