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* Sri Lanka prepares for the UN review of its human rights record
Sun, Jun 24, 2012, 10:51 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jun 24, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has commenced work on the country report to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in November.

The government has assigned Plantation Industries Minister and the Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe to undertake initial work for Sri Lanka's participation in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review in that begins in October 2012.

Sri Lanka's review will be held on November 1. Adoption of the report on Sri Lanka is scheduled for 5th of November.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. The last UPR for Sri Lanka was held in 2008.

The Sri Lankan government has prepared a comprehensive report that includes the work carried out by the country with regard to human rights between the period of 2008 and March 2012. Country's report had to be submitted to the UNHRC by March 2012 to be taken up for discussion in October 2012.

The UNHRC has appointed India, Benin and Spain to the troika that is scheduled to review Sri Lanka. All three countries voted in support of the UN resolution on Sri Lanka, sponsored by the United States and adapted by the UN Human Rights Council at the 19th sessions of UNHRC in Geneva on March 22.

At the 2008 UPR review Sri Lanka accepted 52 recommendations and rejected 25 while for 8 recommendations no clear position was given.

Sri Lanka at the last review conducted before the end of the war, had accepted to Investigate and prosecute all allegations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings and bring the perpetrators to justice in accordance with international standards.

Since the end of the war in May 2009, in addition to those allegations Sri Lanka has been alleged of war crimes. A UN Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary-General found that there was credible evidence that a number of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka at the 2008 review has rejected the recommendation to allow the Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) to strengthen its presence in the country in order to reinforce its cooperation and monitoring on human right situation and extending standing invitations to the special procedures.

The country has rejected to accept an independent international monitoring mechanism to be taken up on the allegations.

However, the government appointed its own domestic Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to probe the allegations. The report prepared by the LLRC from its investigations was widely accepted by the International community and the government is in the process of implementing the recommendations made by the Commission.



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