The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has concluded that overall, the steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to implement some of the key commitments made in UN Resolution last year, are encouraging but more rapid and sustained progress could have been made on some other issues.
The report on Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka listed the restoration of the Constitutional Council, an independent Human Rights Commission and the ratification of the Disappearances Convention as important achievements that "will leave a legacy for the future."
The report expressed hope that once established, the new Office of Missing Persons will provide at least a form of immediate redress for the families of the disappeared.
The High Commissioner in his report noted that more rapid and sustained progress could have been made on issues, such as the release of land and detainees and the revision of the PTA and witness protection laws, which would build confidence with the minority community.
The High Commissioner believes the Government's efforts to implement its commitments will require a comprehensive strategy that enables it to pursue different processes in a coordinated, integrated and appropriately sequenced manner.
Nevertheless, the High Commissioner urged the Government to take "concrete steps to address the impatience, anxiety and reservations towards the process that stem from various quarters, and reiterates the importance for all Sri Lankans rallying behind the process."
The High Commissioner reiterated that his office will continue to stand ready to provide further advice and technical assistance.