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No room for communal unrest in Sri Lanka- Marapana

The Government took immediate action to control the recent communal unrest in Kandy and to restore normalcy in the affected areas, Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana said.

He was addressing the ongoing 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

Marapana said that action has already being taken to apprehend some of the perpetrators and a comprehensive probe was on to identify those involved in the violent acts which were apparently well planned to tarnish the country’s image at a time when the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is being held in Geneva.

Minister Marapana said that the government was also planning measures to ensure a non-recurrence of such violence in the future.

Marapana also highlighted a host of measures taken over the recent past to address human rights concerns in line with its UN Human Rights Council commitments, including the operationalisation of the Office off Missing Persons, the enactment of the Enforced Disappearances Act, ongoing discussions on the draft counter-terrorism legislation to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act and a bill to set up the Reparations Office recently approved by Cabinet.

He also said that about 70 per cent of the lands in the former conflict affected areas which were held by the military have now been returned to their original owners.

Marapana spoke after Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UNHRC Kate Gilmore gave details about UNHRC recommendations and other relevant processes related to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.

She apprised the gathering about the progress Sri Lanka has made on the promotion and protection of human rights and issues that need further attention.

Sri Lankan delegations also comprised Ministers Sarath Amunugama, Faizer Mustapha and several other officials. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha was also present.

On Monday, March 19 the UNHRC adopted Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Report under the 3rd cycle of the UPR.

The current 37th session of the Human Rights Council, convened on 26 February will conclude on 23 March 2018 in Geneva.