News & Updates
Both news media and general public can find important information
about updates, alerts and events that impact human rights in Sri Lanka

Govt Should Protect Rights Of Its Own Nationals “Human Rights Watch"

2014 Aug 22

As the international community maintain focus on Sri Lanka’s human rights issue, the fate of Tamil asylum seekers, both in Australia and those being returned to Sri Lanka as well as the deportation of Pakistani asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, has become a talking point.  

The South Asia Director of the New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW), Meenakshi Ganguly, is of the opinion that the Sri Lankan Government should uphold its international obligations in protecting the rights of refugees and that it should also protect the rights of its own nationals who are being returned from other countries. – Excerpts of the interview:

By Easwaran Ratnam

Q: The Sri Lankan Government is yet to set a time frame by when it will conclude investigations by its commission on the war. Will confidence on the probe further erode as a result?

A: We welcome any domestic initiatives by the Sri Lankan Government to investigate allegations of war-time violations, and to prosecute those responsible. However, there remain concerns because the government has reneged on previous commitments. Instead, those calling for justice were vilified by government supporters.

Q: How can the government win the confidence of the international community and organisations like HRW with regard to the commitment it says it has on investigating the war?

A: If the government is serious about addressing this issue, it should assist in the HRC-mandated inquiry.

Q: Apart from the war, the issue of Sri Lanka deporting Pakistani and Afghan asylum seekers is now in the spotlight. Will this hurt Sri Lanka’s chances of saving face following the war allegations?

 A: Asylum seekers: The Sri Lankan Government should uphold its international obligations in protecting the rights of refugees. It is not easy for people to leave their homes and communities, and often they do so to escape terrible persecution. Shia communities in Pakistan, for instance, have been targeted repeatedly by extremist groups, as have the Ahmediyas.

The Sri Lankan Government should also protect the rights of its own nationals who are being returned from other countries.

Search News & Updates
Keyword
Date
Date