Despite grave atrocities committed by non-state actors, the Sri Lankan government has at no time sought to justify torture nor resorted to torture, former attorney general Mohan Peiris, who is also the senior legal adviser to the Cabinet has told the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT).
At Tuesday’s 47th sessions in Geneva, Mr. Peiris said as a matter of state policy and practice, the Government had maintained a policy of zero-tolerance on torture as seen by the meaningful measures taken to curb such acts.
He said despite the conflict, the government had remained committed to complying with international norms and demonstrated by the invitation extended to two special rapporteurs on torture who visited Sri Lanka twice.
“The commitment to honour the obligations under the Convention against Torture has continued in earnest and the progress in many areas has been exemplary while in some areas there is a great deal of work that must still be done,” Mr. Peiris said. “Let me assure and reiterate to all members of this Committee that Sri Lanka has assiduously followed a tradition of close and constructive cooperation with all human rights treaty bodies and as well as the special procedural mechanisms of the Human Rights Council, and efforts are afoot right at this moment to strengthen this tradition.”
Sri Lanka’s UN Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam was also present at the hearing on Sri Lanka which ended yesterday. By Ayesha Zuhair