anticipated the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise
Arbour’s visit to Sri Lanka concluded with a press meeting in Colombo where
she said, the large number of lawlessness in the country where thousands of
people are abducted, disappeared and killed greatly worries her and the UN and
there is a strong case for having the UN monitoring presence in Sri Lanka to
help them to improve the country’s human rights situation.
But she said,
the UN monitoring mission will not be able to operate in Sri Lanka unless
country it self invite such a mission to Sri Lanka and cooperate with it to
improve the rights situation."One of the major human rights shortcomings in
Sri Lanka is rooted in the absence of reliable and authoritative information
on the credible allegations of human rights abuses," she said.
The Sri Lankan
government refused to use the best opportunity of her visit to put a full stop
to the deteriorating human rights abuses against civilians, particularly by
the Sri Lankan security forces and paramilitary forces in Sri Lanka, according
to the sources in Colombo. Arbour said the authorities had tried to dismiss
allegations of human rights violations as propaganda by the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but she believed there were "credible allegations that
deserved to be investigated."
"In the absence
of more vigorous investigations, prosecution and convictions, it is hard to
see how this will come to an end," Arbour said."There is a disturbing lack of
investigation that undermines the confidence in the institutions set up to
protect human rights," Arbour said, adding Sri Lanka's culture of "impunity"
was a serious concern.
although the Government asked for "technical help" and "capacity building" to
strengthen institutions, she believed there should be thorough investigations
and monitoring."In the context of the armed conflict and of the emergency
measures taken against terrorism, the weakness of the rule of law and
prevalence of impunity is alarming," she said.
"There are a
large number of reported killings, abductions and disappearances which remain
unresolved... While the government pointed to several initiatives it has taken
to address these issues, there has yet to be an adequate and credible public
accounting for the vast majority of these incidents." She further said, “I
would like to express my gratitude to the many individuals who approached me
with testimonies of their own experience.”
visited Jaffna. I am grateful to the military authorities for facilitating my
visit and my particular thanks are due to the Bishop whose warm welcome and
hospitality I very much appreciated.” “I regret that time did not permit me to
visit the Eastern Province and that I did not have the opportunity
to visit Killinochchi.”
She was not be allowed to visit areas controlled by the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Because
minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe felt it could result in adverse propaganda and
also due to security concerns. Many rights groups and rights
activists said, that the Sri Lankan Security forces in Jaffna chased the
relatives of the abducted and disappeared people who gathered at the UNHCR
Jaffna office to meet with the UN Commissioner visited the place.
groups are now very anxiously asking themselves what is next after the UN
official, Louise Arbour visit to Sri Lanka and reports to the Commission.