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Monday, October 15, 2012 - 5.47 GMT
Minister briefs humanitarian activists on UPR


In preparation for the upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, the special envoy for human rights, Minister Samarasinghe held a meeting last week with a group of humanitarian activists about the UPR.

The group included senior representatives of over 35 organizations including INGOs, human rights groups and civil society.

Minister Samarasinghe had described some of the post-conflict initiatives undertaken by the government to address accountability issues.

The Minister had acknowledged that there were still some issues to be resolved completely but reminded that Sri Lanka was the country that voluntarily took on board the most number of proposals put forward at the last UPR in 2008.

He further said representations at the sessions in Geneva are welcome but they should be objective in approach.

President's special envoy for human rights, Minister Samarasinghe will lead the government delegation to participate in the 14th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review in Geneva from 22 October - 5 November 2012.

The second cycle of UPR on Sri Lanka is scheduled for 1st of November, 2012. Adoption of the report on Sri Lanka is scheduled for 5th of November.

A troika headed by India and included Spain and Benin has been appointed for the review of Sri Lanka. Following Sri Lanka's review the troika would prepare its report.

The report by the troika is to be presented to the UNHRC on November 5th and will be adopted on the same day.
Sri Lanka, considering that UPR to be the most appropriate forum at which human rights related matters pertaining to a country should be discussed, submitted its national report that briefs the Council on gains made, challenges faced and future plans regarding the human rights situation in the country to the UNHRC Working Group.

In July this year, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the National Action Plan on the implementation of recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

The action plan covers International Humanitarian Issues, Human Rights, Land Return and Resettlement, Restitution/ Compensatory Relief and Reconciliation.

Out of the 285 recommendations made by the LLRC, many have already been implemented.

Some of the recommendations will be implemented this year while the others may be implemented next year after the budget for 2013 is prepared as the 2012 budget allocations to the ministries have been done before the release of the LLRC report last year, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga who was appointed by the Cabinet to oversee the implementation of LLRC recommendations said.

Menik Farm, the last welfare centre for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)s was closed down in September this year.

Meanwhile, the government is to initiate legal action soon against some former hardcore LTTE cadres.
A committee of legal council appointed to look into the pending cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has finalized the prosecution process.

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) is to set up four new High Courts in the Anuradhapura, Vavuniya and Mannar districts and the Welikada prisons to expedite the court inquiry process.


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Last modified: October 15, 2012.

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