27 October, 2020

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Human Rights Commission Emphasizes On Need To Incorporate Economic, Social And Cultural Rights In New Constitution

While expressing its deep concern over attempts made by some quarters closely associated with the current constitution-making process to prevent the inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights), the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has called on President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and members of the Constitutional Assembly to ensure the incorporation of economic, social and cultural rights in the future constitutional chapter on rights as ‘fully protected rights.’

Dr. Deepika Udagama - Chairperson - HRCSL

Dr. Deepika Udagama – Chairperson – HRCSL

“The HRCSL is deeply concerned by attempts made by some quarters closely associated with the current constitution-making process to prevent the inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights), such as the right to education and an adequate standard of health, from the constitutional Bill of Rights as full-fledged rights for which judicial remedies are available. It has been argued that only civil and political rights should be guaranteed as full rights,” HRCSL said.

“The HRCSL, the primary institution charged with the protection and promotion of human rights in the country, rejects this artificial division of human rights. lt calls on the Constitutional Assembly to ensure that the people’s rights are fully guaranteed in the future Constitution. Failure to do so would seriously impede full protection of human rights and undermine the legitimacy of the new Constitution in the eyes of the public. lt is the opinion of the HRCSL that such a move would also amount to a violation of international human rights obligations undertaken by Sri Lanka,” the Commission said.

ln March of this year, the HRCSL made submissions before the Public Representations Committee on its proposals for constitutional reform. The proposals were sent to the Hon. Prime Minister and the Hon. Speaker and were made available to the public in Sinhala, Tamil and English. ln its proposals, the HRCSL endorsed the Draft Charter of Rights completed in 2009 for inclusion in the new constitution of Sri Lanka. The Charter, formulated by a group of experts appointed by an inter-ministerial committee guarantees not only civilian and political rights but also economic, social and cultural rights as full-fledged rights capable of attracting judicial remedies.

“The HRCSL proposals also emphasized the need to, among other things, recognize the promotion of social justice as a fundamental constitutional principle. lt reiterated the importance of incorporating a strong system of checks and balances, including judicial review of legislation to ensure the effect protection of people’s rights. Above all, the need to recognize the principle of supremacy of the constitution was underscored,” the commission said.

“The HRCSL proposals were made fully conscious of the unique opportunity this moment presents for Sri Lanka, especially as a post-war society, to acquire a modern constitution that addresses concerns of its people within a strong democratic State structure. This is a moment to right the wrongs of the past, and forge ahead to create a new Sri Lanka that is humane and just, as much as it is prosperous. Protection of the rights of the people in a strong and holistic manner is critical to achieving those goals. The post conflict constitutions of South Africa, Kenya and Nepal, for example, are illustrative of such efforts. Sri Lanka too should follow suit and not miss out on this unique opportunity,” the Commission said.

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  • 2
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    Good statement and great work! Keep it up HRC!

  • 1
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    HRC should also ask IMF to stop loading VAT taxes onto poor people in Sri Lanka, and rather as a global institution supposed to be doing global financial governance, IMF should track and return funds stolen from Lanka and stored in off shore accounts!

    The billions stolen from Sri Lanka be returned to the country to pay off the national debt, rather than loading VAT TAXES onto poor people who need economic rights and justice from the corrupt politicians and global financial institutions.

    Ranil is going around the world with a begging bowl rather than asking EU, Singapore and IMF to trace and return funds stored in their off shore tax havens, that were stolen by the corrupt and criminal Mahinda Jarapassa family and cronies and also his own buddy Mahendran and Perpetual Treasuries.
    IMF is supposed to be in charge of Financial Governance and should be tracking financial crime rather than loading taxes onto poor and exacerbating poverty and inequality in Sri Lanka and the world, and generating more conflict and violence.

  • 1
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    Dr. Deepika Udagama – Chairperson – HRCSL

    RE: Human Rights Commission Emphasizes On Need To Incorporate Economic, Social And Cultural Rights In New Constitution.

    “While expressing its deep concern over attempts made by some quarters closely associated with the current constitution-making process to prevent the inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights), the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has called on President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and members of the Constitutional Assembly to ensure the incorporation of economic, social and cultural rights in the future constitutional chapter on rights as ‘fully protected rights.’”

    Thank you and the HRCSL for your efforts to gain Economic, Social And Cultural Rights to the People.

    What rights have been gained after “yahapalanaya” are all for the Crooks and Criminals. The Crooks who stole Billions are Scott free and now and then they visit the “hotels”.

    Lat week President Gon Sirisena Gamarala, made an announcement criticizing the Independent commissions, and protecting the crooks and criminals.

    Yes, this is almost the last chance to correct things, before the next calamity, certain to happen into the future. This is for those who died and those yet to be born. We have to escape our history to correct things. The Paras need to accept that they are Paras from India, Bharat. The Paras need to accept that their beliefs are just myths, whether they arrived earlier or later, to the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

    Welcome to the Land of native Veddah Aethho occupied by the Paras, curretly headed by Gon Sirisena Gamarala, the Protector of Crooks Criminals and killers.

    Want to know what happened after World War 1 in the Paris Conference, where the World was divided among the Imperialist Powers for their own benefit.

    Paris 1919 Full documentary

    The last shots had been fired in the First World War — but peace had yet to be made. Inspired by Margaret MacMillan’s acclaimed work of popular history, Paris 1919 takes us inside the most ambitious peace talks in history, revisiting the event with a vivid sense of narrative. Evoking a pivotal moment when peace seemed possible, director Paul Cowan reflects upon the hard-learned lessons of history.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZAwBI67-1Y

  • 0
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    Make the constitution is bible which has every remedy for human tragidies. Becuse, it has everything it becomes useless except for garbage.

  • 0
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    “It is the opinion of the HRCSL that such a move would also amount to a violation of international human rights obligations undertaken by Sri Lanka”
    This is the problem with landing these know it NGO types in the HRC. What international obligation requires this to be in the constitution?
    Just because they want it doesn’t make it an international obligation!

    http://www.ft.lk/article/571279/Economic-and-social-rights-in-the-new-constitution–A-terrible-idea

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