C’wealth-assisted national HR inquiry

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has decided to conduct a national inquiry into the alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka with technical assistance of Commonwealth Secretariat, sources said yesterday.

A Commonwealth delegation comprising representatives of its Human Rights Division will arrive in the country on December 2 and will take the initial steps to conduct this domestic inquiry.

Human Rights Commissioner Prathibha Mahanamahewa said the country’s first national inquiry into the alleged human rights violations (torture) that took place between 2009 and 2013 would be conducted with the participation of local and foreign legal experts during a period of 18 months.

Dr. Mahanamahewa said the Commonwealth Secretariat believed that Sri Lanka should focus on a national inquiry rather than an international inquiry over alleged human rights violations.  

“Countries like Australia and New Zealand had also expressed concerns about the necessity of a national inquiry into the country’s human rights violations and this process will be useful for Sri Lanka to face the possible challenges which could be emerged at next year’s UN Human Rights Council sessions,” he said.

Dr. Mahanamahewa said this national inquiry would be more independent because it would comprise local and foreign legal experts. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)

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