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Sri Lanka Highest in Disappearances

Sri Lanka under fire in the UN Human Rights Council

by Tamil Centre for Human Rights, March 14 2008

The UN Working Group on Involuntary Disappearances found that, presently Sri Lanka ranks as the country with the highest number in disappearances in the world, even surpassing Iraq which had the world’s highest number of disappearances in the recent past.

Sri Lanka under fire in the UN Human rights council

Sri Lanka ranks world highest in disappearances

 
Sri Lanka is having a very tough time in the 7th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Last Friday, 7th March, UN Human Rights Commissioner Louis Arbour urged all parties to respect international human rights and humanitarian law, given that the Ceasefire Agreement in Sri Lanka has now come to an end.

Following Louise Arbour's comment, Slovenia on behalf of the European Union, Switzerland, France and Canada urged Sri Lanka to allow an international monitoring mission in the island. Also, many NGOs have criticised Sri Lanka for its human rights record during the proceedings.

On Monday 10th March, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the President of the UN Working Group on Involuntary Disappearances levelled serious accusations against Sri Lanka for its record on torture and the disappearances that are presently taking place in Sri Lanka.

The UN Working Group on Involuntary Disappearances found that, presently Sri Lanka ranks as the country with the highest number in disappearances in the world, even surpassing Iraq which had the world’s highest number of disappearances in the recent past.

After the remarks made by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the President of the UN Working Group on Arbitary Disappearances, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden requested Sri Lanka to permit the International Human rights monitoring body to be set up in the country.

For the whole of last week, Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Human Rights in Sri Lanka, was personally at the UN HRC lobbying the states and international NGOs in an attempt to prevent the pending resolution from being taken up for discussion.

In the meantime, NGOs are explaining to the states the importance of having an international human rights monitoring body in Sri Lanka.