The Commonwealth has conducted a workshop to train the staff from the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) on how to conduct national inquiries in compliance with international human rights standards.
John Walters, National Ombudsman of Namibia has led the three-day workshop last week in Colombo to provide training to more than 50 staff from the HRCSL.
According to the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Ombudsman's office in Namibia is an 'A' accredited institution compliant with the Paris Principles, which relate to the status and functioning of national institutions for the protection and promotion of human rights.
The workshop took place in parallel to a visit by Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, to review arrangements for the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo in November.
Chairperson of the HRCSL Justice Priyantha Perera has said the workshop had been very comprehensive in building their knowledge on human rights issues and he was pleased with the attendance at the workshop.
The Commonwealth Secretariat's Acting Head of Human Rights, Karen McKenzi has said that all participants had engaged positively and constructively in the workshop.
HRCSL Regional Coordinator for Jaffna T. Kanagaraj has said the workshop had helped enhance team work among HRCSL staff members and appreciated the opportunity to share the experience between the regions with the Regional Coordinators.
In his last two official visits to Sri Lanka in September 2012 and February this year in preparation for CHOGM, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has committed to providing technical assistance to the HRCSL.
Commonwealth Secretariat's assistance would strengthen the HRCSL's capacity to investigate human rights abuses, which would contribute to further enhancing the independence, authority and effectiveness of the Commission in compliance with international standards, the Commonwealth says.