The Government informed Parliament yesterday that it was ready to move a legislative amendment to give life to the National Action Plan for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights.
Chief Government Whip Minister Dinesh Gunawardena who made this point in response to a question raised by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in the House on Wednesday, urged Mr. Wickremesinghe and the UNP to join hands to take the country forward towards new horizons of progress.
Mr. Wickremesinghe on Wednesday questioned as to why the government had failed to present the action plan to the House before it was presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Mr. Gunawardene said what was pledged in Geneva must be taken to Geneva. He said a pledge was made to Geneva on behalf of the Sri Lankan people and this is not a part of the legislative process which the government is entrusted with.
The Chief Government Whip said the responsibility and the implementation of this plan had been entrusted to a cabinet sub committee and a monitoring committee which comprises senior government officials. He said the monitoring committee will engage with the civil society and would maintain a dialogue through which problems in implementation of the plan at ground level could be reported to the cabinet sub committee.
He said the action plan was drafted in accordance with the pledge made by Sri Lanka in May 2008 at the UN Human Rights Council meeting. He said it was also Sri Lanka’s response to the Vienna declaration adopted in 1993 at the World Conference on Human Rights. He added that it was prepared after discussing it with over 240 organisations and individuals who were invited to present their views.
Mr. Gunawardene said Mr. Wickremesinghe should have commended the government for the action taken to preserve human rights instead of finding fault. (Yohan Perera)