NESOHR Deputy refutes Kadirgamar's statement at the UN

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 March 2005, 23:56 GMT]
Mr. K. Sivapalan, Attorney-at-Law and Deputy Chairperson of the North East Secretariat on Human Rights, on Wednesday refuted the recent statement made by Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar at the 61st Sessions of the UN Commission on Human Rights. There were several misleading and wrong facts in Kadirgamar's address, Mr. Sivapalan, told the UN Commission.

Some excerpts of the statement issued by NESOHR are given below.

Attorney-at-Law Mr. K. Sivapalan
Attorney-at-Law Mr. K. Sivapalan
"Northeast Secretariat On Human Rights (NESOHR) wishes to refute emphatically the several misleading and wrong facts included in the address by Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, the Minister for foreign Affairs at the high level segment of the 61st Sessions of the UN Commission on Human Rights recently.

"Contrary to what Mr. Kadirgamar has stated, the Emergency Regulation has not been allowed to lapse at the first instance on their own volition but because the then government was not in a position to get the majority votes, it was not put before the parliament for extension. The Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act has not been repealed and it still remains in the statutes. It was only because of the Cease Fire Agreement entered into between GOSL and LTTE, that it has temporarily been suspended from being used in the Northeast of the Country. However it has once been used earlier for restricting the fishing rights along the North Eastern coast.

"Far from becoming an obsolete piece of legislation, as stated by Kadirgamar, Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers), regulation No. 1 of 2005 has been promulgated on the 3rd of February 2005 incorporating corresponding sections of the PTA, with regard to confessions and burden of proof which were impugned by the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations in the matter of Nallaratnam Singarasa (Communication No. 1033/ 2001), contrary to the view expressed by the Committee to make the said sections compatible with the provisions of the Covenant. In fact GOSL (the State Party) has not published the views as requested by the Committee due to the intransigence and neither released the complainant nor ordered retrial. Still many suspects arrested under the Draconian PTA are languishing in the Sri Lankan Prisons. In fact GOSL has made use of the Tsunami Devastation to bring back emergency regulations into operations with additional powers wherein any person authorised by the President could keep a suspect under detention and take him from place to place upto seven days without a warrant or detention order.

"The zero tolerance policy on torture proclaimed by Kadirgamar is completely contrary to the factual position as only about 10 cases has been filed in the High Courts under the Act against Torture degrading and cruel acts No. 22 of 1994 and Torture and other Acts continues with impunity."


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