HRCSL lacks teeth, says Human Rights activist

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 December 2004, 03:18 GMT]
"Lawmakers of the country should give teeth to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka to implement its determination on violation of human rights. Presently the HRCSL is only empowered to submit its recommendation on human right violation complaints. That's why the violation of human rights are on the increase", said Mr.K.Sivapalan, leading human rights activist and Attorney-at-Law when addressing the Universal Human Rights day event in Trincomalee Hindu Cultural Hall Sunday.

Amma Nalama Film Release in Trinco
Mr. Sivapalan. File Photo.
The event was organised by UNICEF, UNHCR, UNDP, USAID, and Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA), Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), Eastern Rehabilitation Organization (ERO) and Legal Aid Foundation (LAF).

Dr.Ms Gowshi Gnanagunalan, Medical Superintendent of the Trincomalee General Hospital was the chief guest. Major Hettiarachchi of the Sri Lanka Army stationed in Trincomalee, and Mr.Kapila Jayasinghe, Superintendent of Police also graced the occasion, sources said.
HRCSL lacks teeth
( L-R) SP Mr.Kapila Jayasinghe, Major Hettiarachchi and Dr. Ms Gowshi Gnanagunalan


Ms Gabriella Elroy, Ms Britto Helleland and Ms Brenda Barrett, Trincomalee heads of UNICEF, UNHCR and USAID respectively attended the event, sources said.

Mr.Sivapalan further said the HRCSL was formed in 1996. Human rights analysts are of opinion that HRCSL is without enough powers to punish people who violate human rights. Section 15 of the HRCSL only empowers the institution to make only recommendation on complaints. HRCSL should be empowered to implement its recommendations too. Section 11 of the HRCSL says that sub-committee of the committee would be set up at provincial level. Even after three years have gone, no such provincial sub-committee has been set up in the country, Mr.Sivapalan pointed out
HRCSL lacks teeth
A section of the participants.


In the northeast Tamils are not allowed to register their complaints in police stations in their mother tongue. According to the constitution every Tamil has a right make his or her complaint in Tamil language. But no facilities have been provided in police station especially in the northeast province to record complaints in Tamil language, Mr.Sivapalan said.

Dr.Ms Gowshi Gnanagunalan said awareness campaign on human rights should be held at all levels of the society.

Kantalai Sakthi Organization, Kinniya Vision, SSED Youth Club and Muttur Youth Club and AHAM staged plays depicting human rights preservation, sources said.
HRCSL lacks teeth
Mr.Sivapalan addressing the event.

 

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