The United Nations on Sunday condemned the recent attacks against Muslims and their property and breakdown of law & order in Sri Lanka.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who concluded a three-day visit to the island on March 11, offering condolences to the affected on behalf of the UN, urged the government to swiftly and fully implement the law to bring perpetrators to the justice.
He urged swift and full implementation of the Government’s commitment to bring the perpetrators of the violence and hate speech to justice, to take measures to prevent recurrence, and to enforce non-discriminatory rule of law.
During his planned visit to Sri Lanka amidst the communal violence, the Under-Secretary-General Feltman met with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, as well as other political leaders and cabinet and government officials.
He also had the opportunity to meet with the members of Sri Lanka’s diverse civil society, human rights representatives, and the diplomatic corps.
Noting the recent appointment of Commissioners to the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), Under-Secretary-General Feltman expressed hope that the OMP will soon be fully operational to help answer questions that haunt too many families from all across Sri Lanka about their missing loved ones
He also commended the Parliament’s recent adoption of the Bill for the Protection Against Enforced Disappearances as an important element of the Sri Lankan government’s commitment to its citizens.
The Under-Secretary-General underscored the importance of accelerating momentum on other initiatives, including regarding the constitution, truth and reconciliation, reparations, and counter-terrorism, in line with the Government’s promise to strengthen the country’s democratic principles and practices.
He expressed concern that many elements of the Government’s visionary 2015 program seem stalled, despite their importance to sustainable peace, security and prosperity in Sri Lanka, and he appreciated the reassurances from Government leaders of their intention to move forward. He encouraged the Government to communicate their actions and timelines for reforms to the Sri Lankan people.