The Sri Lankan officials and not Ministers would be representing Sri Lanka at the forthcoming United Nations Human Rights Periodic Review Meeting, the UNP said yesterday.

Lakshman Kiriella, MP and Vice President of the UNP told that according to reliable information received by him, an ambassador based in a western capital had been assigned to lead a delegation of officials to the crucial Periodic Review Sessions scheduled for November.

Failure to fulfil commitments would lead to various strictures being recommended against the offending State, the MP noted.

Kiriella said that it was a clear case of fighting shy of the UNHRC, after Lankan Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe had given various assurances with regard to improving human rights and implementing the 17th Amendment which had created provision for a Constitutional Council to oversee the creation of independent public, police, elections, judicial service and bribery and corruption commissions.

Since then the 18th Amendment had been rushed through parliament in the most unethical manner, rendering the independent commissions redundant and replacing them with toothless bodies which were unable to ensure good governance and transparency the UNP MP observed.

Kiriella said that the government had also failed to implement the key recommendations contained in its very own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report, even though a year had lapsed since its findings were released.

At the last UNHRC sessions there were 110 strictures against Sri Lanka which included the failure to implement the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, establish the Witness Protection, Human Rights and Freedom of Information Acts, investigate serious human rights violations and find a political solution to the country’s long drawn out ethnic issue, the MP said.

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