Samarasinghe's speech at the UN Human Rights Council

Sri Lanka's Human Rights Envoy Mahinda Samarasinghe talks at the UNHRC We summarize the essential points


  1. Full speech from Mahinda Samarasinghe on "achievements" in Sri Lanka:
  2. Most of the talk about how the situation has improved in Sri Lanka is misleading :the programme for the rebuilding of physical infrastructure does not prove that any progress has been made in term of the protection of human rights and the process of the reconciliation.
  3. Here is some evidence of the gap between discourse and reality.

    The government impeached Chief Justice on suspicion of corruption, although the Supreme Court ruled the impeachment process as irregular and illegal. Samarasinghe claimed this was in accordance with due process. 
  4. Here's that story:
  5. Following the civil war, the Lessons Learnt and the Reconciliation Commission advised the Government to respect and implement some recommendations. a recent study from The Social Architects on the implementation of these recommendations notice the Government's slow progress in that process.

    For example:
    - 25% of respondents have had a family member disappeared, usually the bred-winner

    - almost 90% of people in need for psychological assistance have not been able to obtain it

    - 53% of arrested individuals were not taken before a Magistrate prior to being issued a detention order.

    - Government has still not implemented the recommendations regarding the language rights, which asked to permanently have Tamil-speaking officers

    A full report on that survey can be found here:
  6. Samarasingue claims that military is not engaged in civilian administration 
  7. Overall, there is still a lot to do for the protection of the HR in Sri Lanka
  8. To quote:

    "There are currently eight outstanding requests to visit Sri Lanka by  special procedures mandate holders: on minority issues; freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; freedom of opinion and expression; extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; enforced or involuntary disappearances; human rights defenders; independence of judges and lawyers; and discrimination against women in law and practice. At the time of writing, none of these visits had been agreed to by the Government."

  9. Meanwhile reports show that while the civil war is over, things are not getting better...
  10. Sri Lanka: Rape of Tamil Detainees
  11. The story continues on twitter at #HRC22 and #UNlk