Friday, 19 August 2016 09:41

SL committed to protect Human Rights: PM

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that the Missing Persons Office will lead to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Speaking at the launch of Manurawa Law Journal at the Sri Lanka Law College premises, Premier Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka is committed to protect and promote Human Rights.

“What does the Missing Persons Office lead to? It leads to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The truth may be ugly, but we can live with that truth,” he said.

Speaking of the troubles governments have in quelling civil clashes, the Prime Minister pointed to Sri Lanka’s willingness to engage in difficult conversations about Human Rights.

“We had uprisings in the North, uprisings in the South. You have a war, you have a conflict, and in the process of bringing it under control there are violations of Human Rights. In no country has this not happened. But we are open about it. We discuss it. You can’t hide it. We didn’t try to hide it.”

The Prime Minister also resisted the idea of foreign courts handling Human Rights cases, as he argued that Sri Lanka’s tradition-rich courts are more than up to this task.

“If there have to be any prosecutions, we can do them under our law. Now that our system is functioning, we should not be afraid, we should try to strengthen it. And if there’s anything else that’s wrong, let’s take steps to remedy those situations also,” he said, adding that Sri Lanka can bolster its government institutions during the continuing peace.

Saying that Human Rights are a valued piece of the social fabric of the country, Wickremesinghe told the Law College students on the importance of their role going forward.

“The responsibility now lies with you all, to carry this forward, to understand what your history is. Understand when you become a lawyer the responsibilities you undertake,” he said.

(Daily News)

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