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Human Rights Watch calls on Sri Lanka to adopt an action plan and timeline to implement Geneva proposals

The global human rights organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW) today urged the United nations members to insist on Sri Lanka to adopt an action plan and timeline to implement Geneva proposals as promises to the UN Human Rights Council have gone unmet.

The Human Rights Watch said countries at the UNHRC should press Sri Lanka for a time-bound action plan on reforms during its third Universal Periodic Review, which began today in Geneva at the 28th Session.

The organization noted that the Sri Lankan government has taken several positive steps since the last review in 2012. Human rights activists and journalists do not fear arrest for expressing their views and criticism. Allegations of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances against the Tamil minority have dropped considerably. In May 2016, the government ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Since 2015, Sri Lanka has invited several UN and other international experts to provide recommendations.

However, HRW points out that a number of urgent human rights issues are pending, many arising from the 2015 council resolution that promised to create four transitional justice mechanisms to address abuses linked to the three-decade conflict that ended in 2009. Thus far, the government has only established the Office of Missing Persons, but even there has procrastinated, HRW says.

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