Monday, December 11, 2017 09:57:46 PM

‘Making Haste Slowly’ is a Tired Refrain in Sri Lanka

By Human Rights Watch - Tue Nov 28, 12:45 pm

Overview of the United Nations Human Rights Council is seen in Geneva, Switzerland June 6, 2017.

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Overview of the United Nations Human Rights Council is seen in Geneva, Switzerland June 6, 2017.

© 2017 Reuters

Sri Lanka’s previous foreign minister liked to tell the United Nations Human Rights Council that his government was, “making haste slowly,” in acting on the council’s October 2015 resolution calling for reforms, justice, and accountability, particularly for the victims of the country’s decades-long civil war. The phrase was meant to capture the sincerity of intent and political will, but that politics got in the way of making good on the promises.

That refrain has become a staple. The Sri Lankan delegation to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) from November 15-17, headed by Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development Harsha de Silva, essentially repeated this phrase over and again.

While the government has made some progress, most of the promises remain unfulfilled. Just ahead of the UPR, the government announced that it was operationalizing the much-delayed Office of Missing Persons, one of four key transitional justice mechanisms, and funds had been budgeted….

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