Sri Lanka seeks extension of time | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka seeks extension of time

Sri Lanka will seek an extension of time, a ‘technical roll over’ at the upcoming Human Rights Council 34th sessions in Geneva to complete the outstanding commitments made under the September 2015 resolution which it co-sponsored along with other states.

A highly placed official source told Sunday Observer that Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will travel to Geneva on February 26 to address the HRC’s Spring sessions, where Sri Lanka is expected to wrap up its commitments. The country was required to fulfill the commitments undertaken by March this year.

“The expectation is to seek an extension of time and a postponement to the High Commissioner’s final report on Sri Lanka in view of the good progress the country has shown,” the official said.

According to the agenda, the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is expected to present a comprehensive report followed by discussion on the implementation of the present resolution at the up-coming thirty fourth sessions.

“There are a lot of behind the scene negotiations taking place at the moment,” the sources said. Minister Samaraweera will attend the sessions on February 28 and March 1. Meanwhile, the core group of states which sponsored the 2015 resolution on Sri Lanka, led by the US and the UK, will moot a follow-up resolution at the March sessions. Sri Lanka is expected to co-sponsor this ‘friendly’ resolution as well.

Under the 30/1 Sri Lanka was expected to review the Public Security Ordinance Act and to review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and to replace it with anti-terrorism legislation in accordance with contemporary international best practices.In addition, it was asked to seek international support and participation in the form of Commonwealth and international judges and prosecutors in the justice mechanism for which proposal there has been widespread opposition locally.