Though Sri Lanka continued to pursue commitments made in 2015 to the UNHRC, progress of implementing them has been slowed and there was evidence of backsliding, the Amnesty International (AI) said on Thursday.
In its country report on Sri Lanka for 2017/2018, AI said commitments made by Sri Lanka in 2015 – through the UN resolution had not been implemented by the end of the year.
“Sri Lanka failed to follow through on its 2015 commitment to repeal the PTA and replace it with legislation that complied with international standards. The amended Office on Missing Persons Act was passed by Parliament in June. It was signed by the President on 20 July but had not come into operation by the end of the year,” it said.
The report said Sri Lanka’s constitutional reform process, initiated in 2016, also faltered as lawmakers differed over issues such as the fate of the executive presidency, the place of Buddhism in the new Constitution, and whether economic, social and cultural rights would be included in the Bill of Rights.
By the end of 2017, the AI said Sri Lanka had not passed legislation criminalizing enforced disappearance in domestic law, despite ratifying the International Convention against Enforced Disappearance in 2016.
“A parliamentary debate on a bill criminalizing enforced disappearance scheduled for July was postponed without explanation. In June, President Sirisena promised families of the disappeared that he would order the release of lists of those who surrendered to, or were detained by, the armed forces during and after the armed conflict that ended in 2009. The lists were not made public by the end of the year,”it said.