Franciscans International said Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has not kept promises made to Tamil families of the disappeared or to the UN Human Rights Council and called on the global body to continue monitoring the situation on the island.
Speaking at the 36th UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva on Monday, the NGO said that “promises made to this Council and people of Sri Lanka two years ago, have not been fulfilled”.
It went on to note that whilst the Sri Lankan government has produced a draft bill on criminalizing disappearances, it “has weaknesses and the intention is questionable, when in parallel, the government produces secret drafts of draconian counter terrorism laws which can serve as a license for enforced disappearances”.
Meanwhile in the North-East “Tamil families of disappeared have started unprecedented continuous protests,” said Franciscans International.
“But this too had not led to truth and justice, despite these families trying to reach out to majority Sinhalese, meeting with various Ministers and coming to Colombo to meet media, government officials and diplomats. There have been reports of reprisals against a wife of a disappeared man participating in a protest and journalists reporting on the protests.”
Pledges made by the Sri Lankan president to produce a list of those that surrendered to the military at the end of the island’s armed conflict have also not been kept, it added.
Franciscans International concluded by saying,
“In this context, we request the rapporteur to continue monitor developments in Sri Lanka and its engagement with the Sri Lankan government, as well as the promises made by the Sri Lankan government to the Council in September 2015.”