23 September, 2020

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HRC Postpones Set Up Of Torture Commission On Alleged Requests By CSOs – Rights Now Asks Chairman To Name The Orgs

After the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma announced confidently that the Sri Lankan Government would set up a Commission on Torture under the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) shortly before CHOGM in Colombo, reports have emerged that the establishment of the commission is to be postponed.

According to a newspaper report which quoted unnamed sources, the decision to postpone the establishment of the commission was take by the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, together with the Commonwealth Secretariat Human Rights Unit, responding to a request made by several civil society organisations who had sought a postponement of the investigations.

Sharma

Sharma

The Rights Now Collective, today wrote to the Chairman of the HRCSL Prathibha Mahanama, asking him to confirm the veracity of the report and also divulge the names of the civil society organisations that made the request.

“Subsequent to this report, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and other civil society organisations working to strengthen human rights protection in our country have had a number of inquiries from the media, seeking to ascertain as to whether any of us either individually or collectively made such a request.  We have informed the media that no such communication was initiated with the Human Rights Commission by us or indeed by the Commission,” Sudarshana Gunawardana, Attorney-at-Law and Executive Director of the Rights Now Collective for Democracy said in his letter to the Chairman.

The Collective has also asked the HRCSL Chairman to publish the names of those organisations that made the request in the media without delay.

The letter from the Collective has been copied to the Commonwealth Human Rights Unit.

The Rights Now Collective for Democracy has issued the letter to the HRCSL Chairman on behalf of 15 civil society organisations and civil society representatives: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Dr. Nimalka Fernando, Chairperson, IMADR-Asia,   J. C. Weliamuna, Attorney-at-Law, Convener, Lawyers for Democracy,  Mala Liyanage, Executive Director, Law and Society Trust (LST),  Ruki Fernando, INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre, Rathika Innasimuttu, The Social Architechts (TSA),  Britto Fernando, President, Families of the Disappeared (FoD), Shreen Saroor, Women’s Action Network (WAN),  Philip Dissanayake, Executive Secretary, Right to Life Human Rights Centre,  Kusal Perera (Citizen’s Rights),  Muhammad Muzzammil Cader, Non-Violent Peoples Movement,  Ainslie Joseph, Convener, Christian Alliance for Social Action, Ferddy Gamage, Coordinator, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Herman Kumara, Convener, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) and Padmini Weerasooriya, Mothers and Daughters of Lanka

The following is the full text of the letter:

Dear Sir,

I write with reference to a report in the Sunday Leader newspaper of the 8th of December 2103 regarding the proposed commission on Torture to be established under the aegis of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission.  The report states that the establishment of such a commission is to be postponed. In particular, it states that:

“This decision was taken by the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, together with the Commonwealth Secretariat Human Rights Unit, responding to a request made by several civil society organisations who had sought a postponement of the investigations,” sources said.

Subsequent to this report, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and other civil society organisations working to strengthen human rights protection in our country have had a number of inquiries from the media, seeking to ascertain as to whether any of us either individually or collectively made such a request.  We have informed the media that no such communication was initiated with the Human Rights Commission by us or indeed by the Commission.

Given the importance of the issue and the misunderstanding created in the media and accordingly in the general public, we write to ascertain from you the veracity of this report and if confirmed, the names of the organisations which made such a request.  Further, we request you in the public interest to publish the names of the organisations in the media without delay.

In the public interest, we will be copying this letter to the Commonwealth Secretariat Human Rights Unit and releasing this letter to the media.

Thank you for your cooperation

Await your response

On behalf of the below mentioned civil society organizations

Yours sincerely,

Sgd/

Sudarshana Gunawardana,

Attorney-at-Law,

Executive Director,

Rights Now Collective for Democracy

Cc: Ms. Karen Mckenzie, Commonwealth Secretariat, Human Rights Unit.

Signed on behalf of the following organizations:

1.      Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)

2.      Dr. Nimalka Fernando, Chairperson, IMADR-Asia

3.      J. C. Weliamuna, Attorney-at-Law, Convener, Lawyers for Democracy

4.      Mala Liyanage, Executive Director, Law and Society Trust (LST)

5.      Ruki Fernando, INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre,

6.      Rathika Innasimuttu, The Social Architechts (TSA)

7.      Britto Fernando, President, Families of the Disappeared (FoD)

8.      Shreen Saroor, Women’s Action Network (WAN)

9.      Philip Dissanayake, Executive Secretary, Right to Life Human Rights Centre

10.   Kusal Perera (Citizen’s Rights)

11.   Muhammad Muzzammil Cader, Non-Violent Peoples Movement

12.   Ainslie Joseph, Convener, Christian Alliance for Social Action

13.   Ferddy Gamage, Coordinator, Centre for Policy Dialogue

14.   Herman Kumara, Convener, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO)

15.   Padmini Weerasooriya, Mothers and Daughters of Lanka

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Latest comments

  • 16
    1

    Shame on you, Kamalesh Sharma. Well, you have no shame. Do you wonder what smells around you? The handshake you had with the members of blood-stained Rajapakse family, and of course the blood money!

    • 11
      0

      I honestly fail to understand how this Bugger Kamalesh Sharma is still tolerated after he concealed the two Reports of eminent Jurists on the Impeachment of the CJ De Jure. The right thing for the Commonwealth to do even now, is to get the Two Reports tabled for perusal by the Members concerned and rectify the anomaly and relieve Kamalesh Sharma of his duties. This action would result in strengthening the Judiciary in Sri Lanka and put many an act wrongfully committed in the right perspective. Without doing this there is no use of the CW boasting of it’s Ideals as they do not mean a thing for the Commonwealth citizens.

      • 4
        0

        gamini, don’t forget the mafia boss pays him to keep covering the junta using the Commonwealth Secretariat. So long as the honey keeps flowing this Bee won’t go.

    • 2
      0

      I can smell and see few valuable gem stones in his bank locker.

      Need invetigation by British Government.

      Shame on Queen for having this guy.

  • 10
    0

    Sharma was finding refuge in the HRCSL to get the international media off his chest. Knowing Sharma and his record as a liar the petitioners should have known better. Further who appoints the Commission? It is President Rajapaksa against whom the charges of crimes against humanity are being made. The question is whether Rajapaksa is bound to accept the recommendations and act on any of them. The latest statement by Rambukwella in response to the EU concerns confirms the government’s attitude towards these farcical commissions. Sharma knew this all the way. There has undoubtedly been something sinister in Sharma’s attitude. Bensen

    • 4
      0

      BENSEN, QUOTE “There has undoubtedly been something sinister in Sharma’s attitude ” NOT JUST SINISTER BUT MUCH DEEPER THAN THAT I’M AFRAID. JUST LOOK AT HIS TRACK RECORD AND THE AMAZING ACTS OF WHAT ACTUALLY AMOUNTS TO CRIMINAL OMISSION , AND HENCE CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE OF DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS LEADING TO A COVER-UP OF INCRIMINATING CONFIRMATION OF CULPABILITY.

      MIND YOU, NOT A SINGLE COMMONWEALTH COUNTRY HAS YET SAID A WORD ABOUT THIS CRIMINAL COVER-UP AND NO ONE HAS DEMANDED SHARMA’S SACKING.

      “SOMETHING SINISTER’ IS PUTTING IT EXTREMELY MILDLY !

  • 11
    0

    Following established precedence in international organisations of repute, Kamlesh Sharma’s services should have been terminated by now. He was caught pants down deliberately withholding the two legal opinions from Lawyers – from whom the Secretariat sought advise about the suitability of holding CHGOM in Sri Lanka under President Rajapakse. This is quite unbecoming of the incumbebt of the high office he holds. This was followed by an unprecedented attack on him by an important Commonwealth and Benefactor – Canada, that openly called him a “Rajapakse shill” Mauritius complained he intimidated the small country in mafia-like fashion. Even the most accommodating Sharma-supporter will not deny Sharma has brought disrepute to the organisation headed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

    Backlash

  • 5
    1

    The Commonwealth of Clowns, an irrelevant and obsolete British Colonial relic organization should be SHUT DOWN. Headed by Asia’s top war Criminal and KING OF CORRUPTION and NEOPOTISM, Mahinda Rajapakse, the Common Poverty of Nations is today a massive white elephant and platform for third world Military Dictators.. The CHOGM circus in Sri Lanka was a massive waste of Sri Lankan citizen’s and tax payers funds to entertain idiots and boost Jarapakse’s image among the Sinhlaya Modayas who vote for him..

  • 10
    0

    This is expected from day one. Sharma’s bank balance increased by many thousands of dollars and the setting up of the commission delayed, very soon we will learn that the commission will not be set up in the near future. Raja knows how to fool the IC.

  • 5
    0

    Sharma;
    All ways Power and money hungry people have greediness more than others, and you, Jarapassa, his clan are not an exception. and, as always you should, you must agree that, There are connections between money, power, Drugs, Women, Flesh trade, Arms trade and wars.
    So better enjoy with COMMON WELTHs.

  • 8
    0

    Sharma is the worst liar taken to this high office to disgrace it. He is a disgrace to Commonwealth and to India too.,

  • 6
    0

    Chairman? Bloody hell! This shameless Sharma creature seems to be a “commodeman”!

  • 5
    0

    The BASL should move an impeachment via the CW Legal Association in view
    of the matter re CJ Shirani B is pending, knowing Kamalesh Sharmas
    track-record, or in the alternative the much vociferous David Cameron should have the Gen.Secy answer the new situation. Probably Sharma is
    answerable only to MR and no one else for 2 long years!

  • 1
    0

    Sharma is Rajapaksas Man no doubt about it.

  • 3
    0

    News papers carried that a British MP had been paid over three thousand sterling pounds to attend the CHOGM. So the MR govt has paid all expenses of travel and stay of many a Foreign Delegate who attended the CHOGM to give the impression to the Public that they have come to show solidarity with MR for his appointment as head of Commonwealth. Similarly the foreign racing drivers who have come for the Night Races too have been paid for their travel and stay by the MR govt. What a show MR is putting up to show his Popularity to the Public of this country costing the Tax Payers.

  • 6
    0

    Commonwealth Conmen – Sharma/Raja

  • 1
    0

    Kamalesh received a golden handshake a very golden one. He will do as required and he is already now a very wealthy man.

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