A clear majority at Sri Lanka's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) acknowledged country's positive achievements in the post-conflict development including the setting up of the Task Force to monitor and implement the LLRC recommendations, launching of the National Human Rights Action Plan, and efforts to resettle IDPs and progress made in normalizing the situation in the country since the end of the conflict in May 2009, Minister of Plantation Industries and Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said.
Minister Samarasinghe addressing the concluding session of UPR Working Group in Geneva on Monday (5 November 2012), appreciated the interest shown by the 98 countries that made interventions during the Review.
Referring to the outcome document adopted which summarized the comments made by the participating countries, Minister Samarasinghe said most speakers had commended the progress made by Sri Lanka in the short time since the end of the separatist conflict, while others who registered concerns, had also acknowledged the positive developments in the country.
As part of the regular UPR process, recommendations were made by most countries, of which Sri Lanka accepted 111. Minister Samarasinghe noted that with respect to a number of recommendations that did not enjoy Sri Lanka's support, its position was conveyed in a responsible, forthright and respectful manner.
Minister Samarasinghe thanked the Member and Observer States of the Human Rights Council for their active contribution to the Sri Lanka UPR, the President of the Council and the Council Secretariat for their respective roles in facilitating the Review, as well as the Troika of Rapporteurs coordinated by Spain and which included Benin and India.
In total 99 States- 37 HRC members and 61 observers- participated in the interactive dialogue following the opening statement by the Minister on last Thursday.
The 99 countries further recognized the steps taken to rehabilitate and reintegrate child soldiers, efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly in the area of poverty reduction, primary education and child and maternal mortality and the de-mining programme which has cleared over 90% of mined areas.
Major recommendations following the review were for Sri Lanka to fully implement the recommendations of the LLRC and the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (NHRAP).
The Troika has recommended Sri Lanka to fully and transparently investigate alleged grave breaches of international humanitarian law during the conflict.
Several countries have recommended Sri Lanka to ratify remaining human rights instruments in a progressive manner and Sri Lanka has agreed.