Sri Lanka makes its presentation at the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review in Geneva today.
The Lankan Delegation is headed by presidential envoy for human rights and Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. It comprises officials from the External Affairs Ministry, Justice Ministry and the Attorney General's Department. The delegation would answer questions, which are supportive and critical of the country’s progress since the end of the conflict.
A number of challenging questions will be posed by UN member States and International Civil Society groups on a variety of issues. Among questions that have been posed are --The democratisation of former conflict-affected areas of the Northern and the Eastern provinces, rehabilitation of child soldiers, investigations into disappearances and missing cases and the prevention of torture.
The Sri Lankan delegation will use the five-year Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights as its main policy document.
Questions have been posed by the US, Britain, Canada, member states of the European Union and Cuba, China, and Pakistan.
Sri Lanka will be assessed by a committee headed by India, with Benin and Spain as its other members. The assessment will be based on a
combination of reports submitted by the government, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and Civic Society groups.
The UPR is a process that takes place on a four-year cycle to assess the progress of the state of human rights in member countries. (Dianne Silva)