5,653 cases of ‘disappeared’ pending in Sri Lanka: Forum-Asia at 16th session of UNHRC
[TamilNet, Friday, 18 March 2011, 10:26 GMT]
Sri Lanka government is yet to provide clarification on 5,653 outstanding cases of disappeared persons and it has not responded positively to requests to visit the country in this regard by UN Rapporteurs, said Pooja Patel, while delivering her oral statement on behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM –ASIA) in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday. Increased militarization in the Northeast has created an environment of intense insecurity for resettled communities especially for female-headed families who are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse, Ms. Patel pointed out.
Participating the 16th sessions of the UNHRC, Ms Patel said that Sri Lanka did not positively respond to Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Independent Expert on Minority Rights (2007/2009), Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary disappearances (2006,2007,2008 and 2009), Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders (2008) and Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression (2009), to visit the island.
She was also referring to the Systematic erosion of democratic structures and institutions, the removal of safeguards against the concentration of power on the Executive President through the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and the placement of the NGO Secretariat under the Ministry of Defence.