MPGA criticises Rights Commission of inaction
[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 December 2003, 14:44 GMT]
At the Universal Human Rights (UHR) day celebrations held Saturday in Jaffna Veerasingham Hall under the auspices of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCS), members of the Missing Persons’ Guardians Association (MPGA) of Jaffna distributed pamphlets to the participants criticizing the HRC for its inaction with regard to cases of missing persons filed with the commission, civil sources in Jaffna said.
The guests of honour of the event were the Jaffna High Court Judge Mr.K.P.S.Varatharajah and the secretary of the HRCS Mr.Hema Sriwardene. HRC Jaffna regional co-ordinator Mr.Ruwan Chandrasekara presided.
Earlier members of MPGA decided to stage a sit-in protest campaign in front of the hall where celebrations were held. Later they decided to distribute pamphlets condemning the HRC for its failure to address their grievances, sources said.
The High Court Judge Mr.Varatharajah said that the HRC should take appropriate actions against misuse of powers by members of the public service and security forces. HRC should take steps to alleviate suffering of victims due to human and fundamental rights violations by the government and the security forces.
HRC secretary Mr.Hema Sriwardene said the HRC has been undergoing acute financial difficulties without enough funds. “ We need 183 million rupees annually to implement our activities. However the government allocates only 40 million rupees,” said Mr.Siriwardene.
“ We have taken several steps to implement official language policy in the government offices. We have briefed government officials the urgent need to conduct official transaction in Tamil language, which is one of the official languages. It is pity to state that the response from the government side is very poor,” said Mr.Siriwardene.
Certificates and prizes were distributed to the winners of essay competition to the mark the UHR day in Jaffna district, sources said.