Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe, met with Navanetham Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at the Palais Wilson in Geneva on Tuesday (09). The Minister, who was accompanied by Attorney General Mohan Peiris, PC, and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN at Geneva, Ambassador Kshenuka Senewiratne, briefed High Commissioner Pillay, on the progress achieved in developing a National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (NAP) in Sri Lanka. Noting that the NAP was the outcome of a pledge made in 2008 at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council, he outlined the process to date and also the next steps contemplated towards finalization of the first draft Action Plan.
As a part of the continuing efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to provide clarifications on the alleged cases of disappearances submitted by the UN Working Group on Disappearances, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights has now provided an analysis of 47 possible cases of disappearances, which can be closed/clarified by the Working Group. The details of these cases have been forwarded to the UN Working Group by the Permanent Mission in Geneva.
Prior to their submission, the aforementioned 47 cases were compared with the findings of the following Commissions of Inquiry established by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka to investigate the alleged cases of disappearances:
· Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Involuntary Removal and Disappearance of Certain Persons (All Island) March 2001
· Human Rights Taskforce Annual Report—10 August 1992 to 10 August 1993
· Human Rights Taskforce Annual Report—10 August 1993 to 10 August 1994
· Report of the Committee on Disappearances in the Jaffna Region of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, October 2003
Of the forty seven (47) cases clarified, there were:
· Four (4) cases where death certificates had been issued to the next of kin;
· Twenty four (24) cases where the person was found to have returned home as reported by the next of kin, and registered as returned by the 2001 Commission.
· Nineteen (19) cases where the persons were found in official custody having been arrested under the laws of Sri Lanka.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN
16 December 2009
Speaking at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, 10th June, during the consideration of Russia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report, Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka made the following statement:
Sri Lanka welcomes the Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation and applauds his remarks here today. We also applaud the role played by the distinguished Ambassador of Russia, His Excellency Valery Loshchinin, in the Human Rights Council, in its institution/building package, in the UPR process and the Durban Review conference.
Mr. Vice President,
Cuba participated in the UPR process on a very important landmark anniversary in its history: 50 years after the victory of the Cuban revolution. Cuba’s participation in the UPR has been a model of dynamism and active engagement. Here, Sri Lanka would like to salute the role played by Ambassador Juan Antonio Fernandez Palacios, who has been a militant combatant and a field commander in the battle of ideas in the Human Rights Council.
Ambassador Gopinathan Achamkulangare of India, responding yesterday to the remarks on Sri Lanka included in the statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay said, "...it will be prudent to adhere to the outcome of the special session and be sensitive to the concerns expressed already, rather than take a position on contested proposals or controversial issues and ideas, which did not find eventual acceptance in the outcome of the special session."
Sri Lanka's Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka tells UK, France, to submit their own past military conduct to international inquiry
Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka responding to statements by the EU, UK and France supporting High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s call for an international inquiry into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Sri Lanka, made the following remarks at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva during the General Debate today:
Sri Lanka noted with some degree of amusement that the EU, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France were all cheering on the notion of an International Inquiry into allegations of human rights violations conducted “by all sides”, as they put it, to the Sri Lankan conflict.
Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka responds to UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s call for International Inquiry:
Thank you Mr. President, Madam High Commissioner,
Madam High Commissioner welcomed last week’s Human Rights Council Special Session – may I echo that with a slight modification – Sri Lanka welcomes the outcome of last week’s Human Rights Council Special Session. We hope it was as good for the co-sponsors of the Special Session as it was for us in Sri Lanka, though I am not sure I’d recommend that we should all do it again sometime soon.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka speaks at the recently concluded 11th special session of the UN Human Rights Council
The Resolution submitted by Sri Lanka and co-sponsors was adopted with a convincing majority of 29 for and 12 against with 6 abstaining.
The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Geneva, in collaboration with the Geneva Press Club - Club suisse de la presse –, organised a press conference on the topic ‘Current Situation in Sri Lanka’, today (24 April 2009) at ‘la pastorale,’ Geneva.
Hon. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, led a high-level Sri Lankan delegation to the United Nations’ Durban Review Conference, which was held in Geneva 20-24 April 2009 to evaluate the progress made towards achieving the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in 2001.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva briefs Swiss press on Sri Lankan situation
The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Geneva, in collaboration with the Geneva Press Club - Club suisse de la presse –, organised a press conference on the topic of the ‘Current Situation in Sri Lanka’, on 24 April 2009 at ‘la pastorale,’ Geneva.
A high-level delegation led by the Hon. Minister Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, which also included the Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, H.E. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, and Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda, Deputy Solicitor General, Attorney General's Department, represented Sri Lanka at the Durban Review Conference.
Let me, first of all, thank Mr. Bustamante, Special Rapportuer on the human rights of migrants through you for his useful report and update.
Migration and human rights are increasingly major issues of concern for the international community today. There is an estimated 200 million migrants world over, women accounting for half this number.
On behalf of Sri Lanka delegation, let me thank through you to the United Nations Secretary General and the High Comissioner for Human Rights for launching a year-long celebration leading up to the 60th Aniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from today, the International Human Rights Day. This is a historic opportunity for us to take stock of the concept and of the means of bringing it to as wide global audience as possible. My delegation highly values the theme of the commermrative year; ‘Dignity and Justice for al’.
Preamble Paragraph 10 of the founding UNGA resolution 60/251 recognizes that the promotion and protection of human rights should be based on the principles of cooperation and genuine dialogue and aimed at strengthening the capacity of Member States to comply with their human rights obligations for the benefit of all human beings. Operative Paragraph 5(a) of the same resolution mandates the Council to promote human rights education and learning as well as advisory services, and to provide technical assistance and capacity-building in consultation with and with the consent of Member States concerned.
Statement by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, exercising the right of reply on behalf of the Sri Lankan delegation, during the debate under Item 4 on Human Rights situations that require the attention of the Human Rights Council, 24th September 2007
The statement by the Sri Lanka delegation to the Sixth Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 21st September 2007 at Palais des Nations in Geneva emphasized the strong commitment of the Government to eradicate the heinous practice of child recruitment.
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Asian Group.
First of all let me express our thanks to the President of the Human Rights Council and members of the Bureau for providing a space for this discussion on gender perspective in the work of the Human Rights Council. We also take this opprtunity to thank to all those delegations who were instrumental for this initiative. This is a good opportunity for exchange of views on this important subject.
“In the coming months I very much look forward to country visits to both Sri Lanka and Afghanistan” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mme. Louise Arbour in her closing remarks at the 6th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council held at the Palais de Nations, Geneva, on 13th and 14th September 2007.
Responding to her statement, and the one paragraph references to Sri Lanka in the Statement of the European Union read out by the Ambassador of Portugal (the current president of the EU) during the general debate, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva said that the visit of the High Commissioner was one of a number of initiatives taken by the Govt of Sri Lanka including visits by two UN Special Rapporteurs and a high level delegation of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). He said that Sri Lanka has proven its willingness to have an open and constructive dialogue with the international community and UN Human Rights mechanisms at a difficult time when a ruthless and continuing terrorist war was being waged against it by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Sri Lankan delegation expressed its serious concern with regard to the recent trend of equating and clustering of countries and putting them in different baskets as a means of expressing the nature of different humanitarian situations in the world on 25th July 2007 under the item 14 (e) of the General Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) being held in Geneva.
My delegation wishes to express deep appreciation to you, for your tireless efforts in preparing a new text on institutional building of the Human Rights Council, which constitutes a good basis for our further work. You may be rest assured of the fullest cooperation of my delegation in achieving a consensual outcome of the entire package of the institutional building process, by the end of the 5th Session.
The statement of the EU delegation under this Item highlighted human rights concerns in respect of several countries, including Sri Lanka. The Special Rapporteur on Extra Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Mr. Philip Alston, in his introductory statement presenting his report, also referred to Sri Lanka.
We appreciate the Special Rapporteur's abiding interest in Sri Lanka, following his recent official visit to my country and thank the EU delegation, for its support for pursuit of peace and promotion of human rights in my country. My delegation however, would like to take this opportunity to clarify some aspects of all concerns expressed and brief this Committee on recent developments in Sri Lanka.
Statement by Sri Lanka at the 57th session of the
UNHCR Executive Committee – 3 October 2006
Mr Chairman, dear Asian Colleague,
The delegation of Sri Lanka congratulates you on your well deserved election to chair this 57thsession of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme and our good wishes also to the Bureau. We wish Deputy High Commissioner Wendy Chamberlin all the best for future success and thank her for her endeavours at UNHCR.