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Human Rights Commission to amend its Act

2013 Jun 28

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is to submit a draft of amendments to the Human Rights Commission Act before cabinet to empower the commission to file contempt of court cases before High Courts against public officers who did not comply with the commission’s recommendations.
Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Prathibha Mahanamahewa said yesterday that the commission had given an opportunity for Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to make their opinions and proposals regarding the amendments to the act and further said the commission was currently preparing the final draft.
Dr. Mahanamahewa said that the CSOs also proposed to blacklist public officers who did not comply with the recommendations and to make available provisions to issue declaration orders against them.
He further said that CSOs further suggested a broadening of the scope of the Human Rights in line with the International Human Rights Covenants, enabling to go beyond the fundamental rights mentioned in the country’s constitution. The Human Rights Commissioner further said amendments would also extend the tenure of a Human Rights Commission from three years to five years.
He finally said the final draft of the proposed amendment to the Human Rights Commission Act No.21 of 1996 would be presented before the cabinet after discussions with civil society organisations.

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