Sri Lanka vows to engage with UN, human rights mechanisms

Colombo, Sep 16 (IANS) Sri Lanka on Friday affirmed its belief in the UN system and the human rights mechanisms and said these were in the best interest of the country’s people.

Sri Lanka will look up to the UN for advice and views, and also expertise and technical assistance that will benefit the country in terms of capacity building and strengthening of local institutions, Xinhua news agency cited a government spokesman as saying.

Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha P. Aryasinha said that following an invitation extended in December 2015 to all UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders to visit the island country, a number of Special Rapporteurs regarding the country’s priorities have already undertaken visits representing a broad range of mandates.

Aryasinha also said that Sri Lanka will present its fifth periodic report under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) on November 15-16.

Sri Lanka receives invaluable assistance through the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Peacebuilding Fund to implement some of the important steps in the areas of transitional justice, reconciliation, good governance, and resettlement and durable solutions, he said.

The country faced a 30-year civil conflict between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels which ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the rebels.

Thousands of people have been listed as missing in the final stages of the war and the families have continuously called for an international probe.

Addressing a gathering in Colombo during his two-day visit earlier this month, Ban said Sri Lanka is still in the early stages of regaining its rightful position in the region and the international community.

–IANS

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