The UNP has urged the government to immediately implement the Geneva based UN Human Rights Committee recommendations with regard to `the remedies for the rights violations that have been the subject of communications by several Sri Lankans over the recent past.`
The Geneva based UN Human Rights Committee recently ruled in favour of the violation of the rights of Anthony Michael Emmanuel Fernando, a human rights activist who was sentenced to one year?s rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court in February 2003 for contempt of court.
The UN has ordered that the Sri Lankan government pay Fernando compensation for the violation of his rights and make such legislative changes as are necessary to avoid similar violations in the future.
UNP spokesperson G. L Peiris said, `The UNP acknowledges the determination delivered last week by the UN Committee on Human Rights sitting in Geneva on a communication submitted by Anthony Michael Emmanuel Fernando relating to, among other matters, imprisonment for contempt of court.`
`This is the latest determination in a number of communications filed by Sri Lankan citizens in the recent past, availing themselves of rights conferred by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the first Optional Protocol thereto.`
`We have been a signatory not only to the ICCPR, but also its First Optional protocol under which citizens of State parties are entitled to redress by the UN Committee on Human Rights. This places an inescapable duty on State parties to give effect to the determinations of the UN Committee.`
Peiris said that the failure or unreasonable delay in implementing the recommendations `results not only in the undermining of rights available to Sri Lankans under international treaty law, but also in the erosion of public confidence in the government.`