UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has urged Sri Lanka to accelerate the pace of fulfilling all the obligations in the consensual resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The UNHRC had passed resolutions that had mandated Sri Lanka to set up a credible mechanism to probe human rights abuses by both the LTTE and the government troops during the final phase of the war which ended in May 2009. Al Hussein urged swift operationalising the Office of Missing Persons and to move faster on other essential confidence building measures, such as release of land occupied by the military, and resolving long-pending cases registered under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). "In the North, protests by victims indicate their growing frustration over the slow pace of reforms.
I encourage the Government to act on its commitment in Resolution30/1to establish transitional justice mechanisms, and to establish a clear timeline and benchmarks for the implementation of these and other commitments," he said. He said the absence of credible action in Sri Lanka to ensure accountability for alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law makes the exercise of universal jurisdiction even more necessary. On the PTA, he said "I repeat my request for that Act to be replaced with a new law in line with international human rights standards." Hussein said Sri Lanka has already accepted Universal Jurisdiction as in the last UNHRC resolution it co-sponsored. However, whenever the issue of international action under Universal Jurisdiction against Sri Lankan military is raised, the government states that it will not allow any officer to be dragged to face trial in any foreign court. Sri Lanka has refused to let foreign judge to operate citing it as unconstitutional.
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