Monday, November 20, 2017 09:27:16 PM

Beyond Box-Ticking: Unpacking Pablo de Greiff’s Statement on Sri Lanka

By Raisa Wickrematunge - Mon Nov 06, 1:11 am

Featured image courtesy Dinuka Liyanawatta/Reuters

November 6 marks the deadline for candidate applications for the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). The signing of the Office of Missing Persons gazette drew praise from the UN, with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres terming it a ‘significant milestone’. Yet, locally, concerns were raised on the process of the OMP’s operationalisation. This highlighted the need for Sri Lanka’s transitional justice process to move beyond the mere promise or achievement of milestones, and for critical, informed discourse around these processes.

Echoing these sentiments, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein on September 11 urged Sri Lanka not to view its obligations under the Resolution as a mere ‘box-ticking exercise’ in his opening statement to the UN Human Rights Council.

It was in the aftermath of this that the UN Special Rapporteur for the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, visited Sri Lanka in October 2017. He issued a statement at the conclusion of his visit, which included travel to the North of the country, saying that Sri Lanka ‘continued to deprive itself of the full benefits of transitional justice….

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