Arbourís concerns already addressed -HR Minister
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights yesterday said
that several key issues raised by the UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights Louise Arbour in her press release, were areas which the
Government had already initiated action.
The Ministry yesterday highlighting the issues noted that the
Government had made arrangements shortly to introduce a Witness and
Victim Assistance and Protection Act to Parliament as an urgent bill.
Furthermore a Parliamentary Select Committee is in the process of
finalising its report with regards to the 17th Amendment, which would
enable the reconstitution of the Constitutional, Council sources said.
With regard to the fields of investigation, prosecution and
conviction, which the High Commissioner mentioned, the Government had
already initiated action to develop appropriate training and institution
The Government has also initiated action on ensuring the collection
of reliable and authoritative information on HR issues which the High
Commissioner noted as vital, Ministry sources said.
It also pointed out that the demand by some groups for a UN
Monitoring Mission or office was unwarranted and unacceptable as the UN
High Commissioner had two offices in the country already, which was
working with the UN country team.
The Ministry services noted that the Minister had pointed out that
depending on the level of technical cooperation that would be made
available, further projects could be discussed.
Quoting Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe the Ministry release said that,
despite the very complex situation in Sri Lanka in the context of an
ongoing struggle against terrorism, the Government by inviting Arbour
had shown its willingness and commitment to work with the international
community in a quest to promote and nurture human rights of all