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UN OHCHR sends report to Sri Lanka – A formal response is due today

The report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will come up for interactive dialogue in the forenoon and afternoon of September 11 when the sessions begin.

Sri Lankan diplomatic sources said that a copy of the draft OHCHR report has already been forwarded to the government (Foreign Ministry). A formal response from it is due at the OHCHR in Geneva on Tuesday (September 5) with its inputs.

That is expected to outline a string of measures that have been adopted, including the ethnic reconciliation process, the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the setting up of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the strengthening of the Provincial Councils, land reforms, PTA reforms, prisoner releases, and the introduction of the anti-corruption law.

One of the key areas the OHCHR report will deal with, the same sources said, was its “serious concern” over the shrinking of “democratic space” in Sri Lanka. Reference is being made to curbs on meetings and restrictions on freedom of assembly. It is not immediately clear whether there would be references to the Sri Lanka Accountability Project (SLAP) which is now fully funded and staffed. However, it will be inevitable for the High Commissioner not to report on progress of this most controversial of projects.


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