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    SL signs convention on enforced disappearances Featured

    December 11, 2015

    Sri Lanka signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, on Thursday (10) at a ceremony held at the Treaty Section of the United Nations.

    The convention was signed by Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Dr. Rohan Perera and Sri Lanka became theh country to sign this Convention. So far 94 states have signed the convention and 51 states have ratified it.The signing coincided with the International Human Rights Day that was celebrated yesterday.

    The Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to sign and ratify the Convention, and the ratification of the Convention by Parliament will be expected to carry out January next year, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the media yesterday.

    The convention defines enforced disappearance as a violation of human rights and considers it as a criminal offence.

    “Dring the last decade or so, in Sri Lanka, human rights were always spoken as an alien concept. The universal values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law were made out to be alien concepts or western values as the previous government called it and they used to say it's western values and infringing on our country’s sovereignty",Samaraweera said.

    "We must also remember that the alleged opposition between security and human rights is also a false one. The right to life, the right to live without fear, the right to seek the protection of the law are all human rights. But so is the right to freedom, the right to non-discrimination and the right of self-expressions. These rights, for the most part, complement rather than contradict each other. And where there is a tension,  the rights need to be balanced to ensure that each and every citizen can live a flourishing and full life", he said.

    "And as a Government, we are dedicated to strengthen the human rights of all, strengthen the rule of law and the national Human Rights Commission", he added.

    "Stand up, speak and act at all times in defence of the human rights of all our citizens. This, I believe,  is in our own interest as a nation and there is no need to be defensive about granting to our people, the rights which are due to them. There is no need to fear having a frank and honest dialogue with human rights defenders and UN Special Procedures or our bilateral partners. This is not a partisan issue. Strengthening human rights must receive the support of all, including all in Parliament". Foreign Minister further emphasised.

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