( November 16, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya yesterday reiterated that Sri Lanka remains committed for a zero tolerance policy on torture.
Addressing a UN committee Against Torture, the Attorney General said that Sri Lanka has taken a number of policy measures over the last two years recognizing the importance of a transparent and independent mechanism for investigation into alleged incidents of torture in custody in line with international treaties.“President Maithripala Sirisena, joined by the Minister of Law and Order, joined an initiative of the National Human Rights Commission to march against Torture, sending a message at the highest level of Government regarding the its commitment to zero tolerance on torture,”he said.
The Committee Against Torture yesterday started reviewing Sri Lanka and a delegation led by the Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya represented Sri Lanka at the session.
The Attorney General apprised the committee that Sri Lanka is in the process of introducing National Human Rights Action Plan for the period 2017 – 2021. He added that this process will help uphold , promote and protect human rights of all in keeping with international treaty obligations.
He said that in May 2016 the Cabinet approved an inter Ministerial committee tasked with drafting the National Human rights Action Plan for 2012 – 2021 Assisted by Steering Committee of officials and experts and drafting committees working on each of the thematic areas.
Jayasuriya also apprised the committee that the government has started a process to develop the policy and legal framework of a new counter terrorism legislation for Sri Lanka. “the new legal framework focuses on reviewing the provisions of PTA in line with international human rights norms and practices