UN rights body faces test over Sri Lanka, Darfur

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 September 2006, 17:48 GMT]
Days after Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court declared that rulings by the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) in Geneva can be ignored if they go against the country’s constitution, international rights activists said the UN body needs to take action on crises in Sri Lanka and Darfur to secure its credibility and usher in a new era of rights monitoring.

International rights groups want the UN forum, launched this year to succeed the largely-discredited U.N. Commission on Human Rights, to confront a wide range of violations when it opens its second regular session on Monday.

"This is going to be the session which tell us whether the Council is serious. Now is the time for action," Reed Brody, legal counsel of the New York-based group Human Rights Watch, told Reuters in an interview.

"There are a number of areas like Sri Lanka and Darfur where it could take action to save lives," he said.

Brody said the Council should send fact-finding missions and support the deployment of human rights monitors in places where civilians are at risk, including Sri Lanka.

The Council was created to sidestep the bitter political acrimony and selectivity which plagued its 60-year-old predecessor, which was widely criticised for allowing rights abusers to block efforts to address atrocities.

This week’s three-week-long meeting is seen as a litmus test for the Council's 47 member states, who will have their first chance to examine and condemn atrocities after a mainly procedural initial meeting in June, Reuters reported.

But the new body is already showing worrying signs of slipping into old divisive patterns, activists warned.

"The Council's two special sessions were the old Commission at its worst. It got off on a bad foot," Peter Splinter, Amnesty International's representative in Geneva, told Reuters.

"We hope the Council will have something to say about the critical situations on the ground in Darfur and Sri Lanka which are getting much worse," he added.

Last week a five-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Sarath Nanda Silva ruled that Sri Lanka’s judiciary is not bound to implement UNHRC recommendations against Sri Lanka’s constitution or the legal framework, the BBC reported.

Mr. Silva also observed that Sri Lanka’s leaders “should be more responsible in signing international treaties affecting the country’s sovereignty,” the BBC Sinhala service reported.

 

Latest 15 Reports
15.03.19 21:02   Photo
TNA hierarchy backs controversial Sinhala extremist project at Jaffna entrance
14.03.19 22:36  
STF commandos torture Tamil man in Batticaloa, victim held incommunicado
13.03.19 14:11   Photo
Tamil parties failing to single-mindedly demand genocide justice, more dangerous than ITAK
12.03.19 17:28   Photo
Colombo schemes Sinhala Buddhicisation of 40 more locations in Mullaiththeevu
11.03.19 17:33   Photo
118 Muslim families demand occupying SL Navy to release their lands in Mannaar
10.03.19 18:34   Photo
Colombo sabotaging mass grave investigations and Tamils learning lessons on ‘hybrid’ paradigm
09.03.19 17:11   Photo
Manipulations at work to nullify NPC-evolved identity to Eezham Tamils food court
08.03.19 20:24  
Occupying Colombo set to grab 227 acres of private lands in Vali North in Jaffna
07.03.19 21:10   Photo
Intelligence establishments poised to escalate religious fundamentalism in Mannaar
06.03.19 17:29   Photo
Sinhala ‘emperor’ monk wants Muslims expelled from Arisi-malai in Trincomalee
05.03.19 19:42   Photo
Tamils mark Shivaratri at base of hill seized by SL Archaeology Department in Trincomalee
04.03.19 14:18  
Ranil's ‘development’ of North-East is divide-and-rule imposed on Tamils
03.03.19 18:05   Photo
Protest continues beyond two years at Keappaa-pulavu in Mullaith-theevu
02.03.19 11:09   Photo
Desecration of Sivalingam by SL Archaeology Department sparks tension in Trincomalee
01.03.19 21:52  
Colombo wants to mark ancient villages in East as ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ villages
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=19624