UNHrc Report and GoSL Response

3 March 2014 05:14 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The words “demobilization and disarmament” contained in the Unedited Version are not found in the Edited Version, apparently due to the objection raised in the GoSL response.


Unedited Version- Para 5 “setting a clear timeline for demobilization, disarmament and disengagement  of the military from activities that are meant to be for civilians”

Edited Version-Para 03 “…demonstrating a credible national investigation process with tangible results, including the successful prosecution of individual perpetrators; and setting a clear timeline for disengagement*of the military from activities that are meant to be for civilian.”

GoSL Response- Para 09    “It is not the mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN to call for demobilization and disarmament of the military of a sovereign State and set timelines for same and the GoSL wishes to emphasize that it does not intend to disarm or demobilize its military”




Direct incorporation of GoSL comments into the Edited Version on the number of cases transmitted to the WGEID
Unedited Version- Para 11    Para 11 of the Unedited Version ends as follows; “...The Government is yet to respond to their request.”
Edited Version- Para 09    Para 09 of the Edited Version which now corresponds to the para 11 of the Edited Version, adds the following sentence ( in bold for emphasis):

“…These requests remain pending. Since January 2012, the Government has transmitted responses on 842 cases to the Working Group dating back to the 1990s”


GoSL Response- Para 05    The following sentence in para 05 of the GoSL response seems to have influenced the Edited Version:
“Since January 2012, the GoSL has transmitted 842 cases to the Working Group”




GoSL comment on the successful conclusion of Northern Provincial Council elections has been added to Para 12 of the Edited Version
Unedited Version- Para 14 of the Unedited Version does not refer to the Northern Provincial Council elections.


Edited Version- Para 12    Following sentence has been added to para 12 of the Edited Version which corresponds to para 14 of the Edited Version ( in bold for emphasis):

“She welcomed the elections in the Northern Provincial Council in September 2013, and recommended that the Government should work with new provincial authorities to promote… ”

GoSL Response- Para 11 (f) Following sentence in Para 11(f) of the GoSL has seems to have influenced the Edited Version ( in bold for emphasis):
“The culmination of this process was the successful conclusion of Provincial Council elections in the North in 2013 and the establishment of the Northern Provincial Council”
New footnote reference is made to  “continued militarization  and compulsory land acquisition” in Para 12 of the Edited Version


Unedited Version- Para 14    Para 14 of the Unedited Version does not contain any footnote reference to the words “continued militarization  and compulsory land acquisition”


Edited Version- Para 12     Para 12 of the Edited Version that corresponds to para 14 of the Unedited Version contains two new footnotes (footnotes 5 and 6)
“continued militarization 5  and compulsory land acquisition 6 ”

5 See Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR), A Protection Assesment of Sri Lankan Internally Displaced Persons ….
6 See case studies on Jaffna, Sampur and Weli Oya in Center for Policy Alternatives….



Two new Paras  have been added under the title ‘Recent Human Rights Developments’ in the Edited Version as para 14 and 15.  Para 14 of the Edited Version refers to the percentage of reduction of military presence which was not mentioned in the Unedited Version. GoSL comment on reduction of military presence in the North has seemingly influenced the Edited Version for this addition.

Unedited Version- Paras 14 & 15  In the Unedited Version the section ‘Recent Human Rights Developments’ contains only two paras; Paras 14 and 15. In the Edited Version two new paras have been added. This section in the Edited Version now contains,  para 12, 13, 14, & 15

Edited Version- Para 14 has been added as a new para in the Edited Version as follows ( in bold for emphasis):
“In its comments on a draft version of the present report, the Government of Sri Lanka stated that since 2009, the total strength of the military has been reduced by approximately 30 per cent in the Northern Province and by 26 per cent in the Eastern Province, and vast majority of check points had been removed. It added that a total of 20,011 acres of private land and 5,470 acres of State land had been released in the two provinces. ”


GoSL Response- Para 10 & Para 11 (c) The following two paras in the GoSL response seem to have influenced the Edited Version ( in bold for emphasis):
“It may be noted that the total strength of the military in the Northern Province has been reduced by approximately 30% from 2009 to October 2013, process which is continuing to take place. In addition in the Eastern Province approximately 26% reduction of troop presence has been undertaken.  ” (Para 10)
“Therefore the total figure of lands released in the North and East amounts to 20,011 acres of private land and 5, 470 acres of State land; ” (Para 11 (c))
Edited Version- Para 14    The following sentence has been newly added to the Edited Version in Para 14 which was not mentioned in the Unedited Version:
“The High Commissioner noted, however, reports that more than 6,000 acres of private land had been acquired by the State in Jaffna around Palaly cantonement and more than 2,000 petitioners had taken legal action to reclaim their land”



GoSL comment in para 11(b) on compensation being paid by the Government to land owners whose land has been acquired by the Government has been added to the Edited Version.



Unedited Version- There is no corresponding para in the Unedited Version to para 14 of the Edited Version as the contents of Para 14 in the Edited Version have been newly added to the Edited Version.

Edited Version-  Para 14    The below sentence has been added to para 14 in the Edited Version ( in bold for emphasis):
“The Government stated that steps were being taken to compensate the owners”


GoSL Response- Para 11 (b) The following sentence in bold seems to have influenced the Edited Version ( in bold for emphasis):
“The Government has taken measures to pay compensation to owners of these properties and to provide alternate land for them.”


Reference to the need to obtain clearance by NGO s from the Defence Ministry was mentioned in the Unedited Version in para 15 that commences as “Following his visit in December 2013…”. This has been removed from the corresponding para in the Edited Version and has been inserted in a para which commences as “The High Commissioner remains concerned…”


Para 15 of the Edited Version carries the word “secretariat”  seemingly taking into consideration explanation in the GoSL response that NGOs and INGOs are required to register at the  NGO Secretariat which is under the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.


Unedited Version- Para 15 The Unedited Version does not mention about the “secretariat” at the Ministry of Defence ( in bold for emphasis):
“In January 2014, however the High Commissioner received renewed reports of NGOs still being required to obtain clearance from the Ministry of Defence.”
Edited Version- Para 12 Para 15    The Edited Version carries the word “secretariat”

“The High Commissioner remains concerned that the non-governmental organization are still required to  register and report through a secretariat* under the Ministry of Defence”
* in the unedited version the Secretariat under the Ministry of Defence was not mentioned.


GoSL Response- Para 20    The following response of the GoSL seems to have influenced the Edited Version to change the wording to include the word “secretariat”.
“It is mandatory for all INGOs and NGOs working in Sri Lanka to register with the NGO Secretariat which is under the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development....The incidents under reference are therefore not a reflection of a militarization or involvement of the military in civilian functions. Drawing such correlation is erroneous ”


Para 15 of the Edited Version brings out an example of sexual harassment caused by the military presence which was not mentioned in the Unedited Version.
Para 15 of the Edited Version reads that “She (the High Commissioner) draws  attention to concerns that women are vulnerable…”. The para 14 of the Unedited Version  (which is the relevant corresponding para of the Edited Version) reads: “She (the High Commissioner) expressed concern that women were vulnerable”. It is noted that the High Commissioner, in the Edited Version,  does not own the concerns but has made it more general.

The sentence on increased vulnerability of women due to military presence has been moved from where it had been mentioned in the Unedited Version to a different para in the Edited Version. In the Unedited Version   this was mentioned at the end of para 14 which commences as “In the oral update…”. In the Edited Version, the same allegation has been moved to another para (para 15) which commences as “The High Commissioner remains concerned…”




Unedited Version- In Para 14 of the Unedited version the sentence “She expressed concern that women were vulnerable to sexual harassment and violence when there is a heavy military presence.” (It Is noted that this is not substantiated with any examples in the Unedited Version.


Edited Version- Para 15    Para 15 of the Edited Version carries an example to strengthen  the allegation of sexual harassment by military personnel:
“For Instance in May 2013, a soldier attached to an army camp in Nedunkerny reportedly confessed to raping a 6 year old child ”
Note: (a)This is an instance where the OHCHR has strengthened their case in the Edited Version with an example  disregarding the GoSL response (para 14 & 15 of the GoSL response).  (b) This can be further related to the findings/observations by SAS (FR)/Defence.



The GoSL comment that the Government has taken strict action against military personnel for misconduct has been added to the Edited Version.



Edited Version- Para 15    The following sentence has been added at the end of para 15 of the Edited Version as a new sentence ( in bold for emphasis):
“In its comments on the present report, the Government reported that the military has taken strict action in such cases”


GoSL Response- Para 14    Following GoSL response seems to have influenced the Edited Version ( in bold for emphasis):
“In all these cases involve Security Forces personnel  disciplinary and legal action has been taken. The military has taken strict action to either discharge or award other punishments to these personnel. Furthermore, cases have been filed in civil courts, some of which are pending in Courts and with the AG’s department.  ”



The Edited Version adds a new sentence to para 20 referring to reports received from the ‘Secretariat for Muslims’ which was not mentioned in the Edited Version.



Unedited Version- Para 20 In the Unedited Version in para 20, the number of threats and violence against Muslims is given as 280 without any reference to the source of information:

“The High Commissioner has received reports of around 280 incidents of threats and violence against Muslims in 2013…”


Edited Version- Para 20    In the Edited Version a source is added to the number of threats against Muslims
New Insertion ( in bold for emphasis): “She received reports from the Secretariat for Muslims, a non-governmental organization, according to which there were some 280 incidents of threats and violence against Muslims in 2013 ”



On the Weliweriya incident: the Edited Version in Para 23 has changed the number of causalities from 6 to 3 based on the observation in the GoSL response that the actual number of casualties is 3.



Unedited Version- Para 23 In the Unedited Version Para 23  mentions “leaving at least six people dead and many others with critical injuries.”

Edited Version- Para 23    In the Edited Version the number of dead people has been changed:
“Army personnel were deployed in support of the police to control the protest, which had turned violent and reportedly used excessive force, leaving three*people dead and many other critically injured”

GoSL Response- Para 47    The following sentence of the GoSL response seems to have influenced the Edited Version to change the number of casualties:
“ The number of fatalities is factually incorrect. There were 3 civilian deaths due to the clash and several civilians also sustained injuries.”

To be Contd. on Tuesday...
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