UN Rights Expert Wants Government To Walk The Talk On Minority Rights

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The United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, today urged the Government of Sri Lanka not to lose the momentum gained by the new administration in 2015, and show its commitment to minority rights through concrete action.

Rita Izsák-Ndiaye

Rita Izsák-Ndiaye

“In order to achieve peaceful co-existence after the long devastating civil war, a comprehensive, well-planned and well-coordinated truth, reconciliation, healing and accountability process must take place, and it cannot be done overnight,” Izsák-Ndiaye said at the end of her first information-gathering visit to Sri Lanka.

“At the same time, the Government must put in place some urgent, important and concrete measures to clearly demonstrate its political will and commitment to better protect the dignity, identity, equality and right to participation in all walks of life, of Sri Lanka’s minorities,” she emphasised.

During her ten-day mission to Sri Lanka, she consulted a large number of minority representatives across the country, including Sri Lankan and Up-Country Tamils, Muslims, Hindus, Burghers, Christians, Telugus, Veddas, Malays, and Sri Lankan Africans.

The expert commended the National Unity Government for the important progress it has made towards adopting critical laws and policies and in strengthening institutions to better protect human and minority rights.

“However, challenges remain,” she said, noting that, among the most pressing and emotive issues, especially for the Tamil and Muslim communities, were disappeared persons, return of occupied land, release of security-related detainees, as well as demilitarization, which must be addressed urgently.

The lack of adequately inclusive and representative institutions and language barriers in accessing public services and the justice system featured recurrently in all consultations across the country. “Poverty, violence and discrimination against women including in personal laws, and caste-based discrimination are further challenges,” she stated.

“Trust must be built in State institutions and between the various population groups,” Izsák-Ndiaye said. “Efforts by the Government to implement good and inclusive governance must include guarantees that minorities become part of decision-making processes and have a place in state- and provincial administration. Consultations with minority groups on issues affecting them should be regular, institutionalized and systematized.”

“Educational curriculum must ensure teaching about Sri Lanka’s diversity, as a source of strength, and about the different cultural, ethnic and religious identity of its population groups to foster deeper understanding,” the expert added.

Izsák-Ndiaye pointed out that minorities have a great deal of expectations from the Constitutional reform process and see it as the critical moment to codifying and guaranteeing their rights. “Minority NGOs and communities have given their voices to the constitutional consultation process with their numerous submissions,” she said. “Their views and aspirations must be taken into proper consideration.”

The UN Special Rapporteur called for the creation of an independent minority rights body to provide expertise and information to legislative- and policy-making processes, encourage and coordinate programming on minority issues, and form a bridge between minority communities and the state.

Izsák-Ndiaye will present a detailed report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017.

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25 Responses to UN Rights Expert Wants Government To Walk The Talk On Minority Rights

  1. 2
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    Is she qualifying for that Duterte sign ?

    thondamannay
    October 20, 2016 at 5:54 pm
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      UN Special Rappoteur Please stop pussy footing !! Nothing different is happening or will happen. You people just paid up by the UN to blow your own trumpet. The war ended almost 10 years ago, what is going on UN?? There’s no difference between this government or the last Government. The previous one did marginalise the Tamils openly the present one showing Head and Tail to the UN and to the International community playing the Hide and Seek Games. They tell the UN we are returning so many acres of lands back to the owners once the UN has left they take the Lands back and given to the Army or to the Colombo Slum Gangs. Why all these double games .? to please the majority or to keep the jobless Army ,Navy, and Police to watch the Sinhala slum criminals from the mainland to start disturbance in the North?? The country is cursed by Kuweni for centuries , will never ever PROSPER. Even MILLIONS of DANAS TO THE LAZY MAHANAYAKES WILL BRING PEACE OR PROSPERITY TO SRILANKA THE APE AANDUUWE . . THE WONDER OF ASIA.

      Analyst
      October 20, 2016 at 10:01 pm
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        analyst, I am surprised you being an analyst have not analyzed the UN yet! Better start looking hard at the UN. How they operate, who appoint officials, who is ordering them to do what and when. Which countries they have more interests and which countries they ignore? Got the idea? Do you still expect unbiased and equitable enforcement from the UN? If you do, you are a fool!

        Eusense
        October 20, 2016 at 11:01 pm
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          Sri Lanka needs an Equal Opportunities Commission and Bill for Women and Minorities who are marginalized and discriminated against by the Macho Sinhala Nationalists and the corrupt and criminal politicians. Today Ranil and Sira and their massive cabinet of Morons have perfected the art of pulling the wool over and deluding the Moda Sinhala Masses who thought that Yahapalanaya was possible in a country ruined by POLITICAL CORRUPTION. The corrupt politicians used Racism to Distract, Divide and Rule the masses during Mahinda Jarapassa regime as it looted Lanka. Today Ranil-Sira Jarapalanaya are doing the same, while the rupee is crashing, inequality and poverty increasing and Jarapalanaya is imposing VAT on the poor to pay for the super luxury SUV lifestyles of the likes of CORRUPT AND CRIMINAL Sujeeva Senasinghe who sold his duty free permit and defends Arjuna Mahendran and Perpetual treasuries.This corrupt clown Sujeewa Senasinghe must be forced to resign and investigated for corruption and fraud. Meanwhile the India , EU and USA are going to draft Sri Lanka’s national policies because Ranil and his team are intellectually bankrupt! Ranil is digging his own grave with The Mahendran scandal and the ECTA with India because Sri Lanka will be flooded with cheap Indian goods and the economy destroyed, as Nepal has been by India.

          Kalupahana
          October 21, 2016 at 10:04 am
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          Eusense “I am surprised you being an analyst have not analyzed the UN yet!” Eusense, I am surprised you have not analyzed the Sri Lankan judiciary yet

          Shrikharan
          October 22, 2016 at 8:23 pm
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  2. 5
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    The UN Special Rapporteur is right in many ways. This government and none of the previous governments had made any attempt to assimilate the different communities as all Sri Lankans. We have divisions in where they live and where they work. E.g. There are no Tamils in the Police or Army outside of Jaffna, despite many Tamils living outside of who are confined to menial labour or small eateries. Our initial and urgent ruling has to be the deletion of entering the applicant’s religion in their job application forms. We should introduce equality to all Sri Lankans and impose severe penalties for discrimination. In a few years we would be held up as an example for decent communal living.

    Sylvia Haik
    October 20, 2016 at 8:39 pm
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      SH Where do you live?? Attempts to assimilate becomes “Sinhalese colonization” when Sinhalese are allowed to settle down in the north while Tamils can live anywhere they want within SL! Where is the assimilation contribution from the Tamils?? Are you such naive to say Tamils should have been in the Police and Army while the same Tamils were waging a terror war for 30 years against my country? How do you identify a suicide bomber and a terrorist to avoid recruiting those killers to our law enforcement? For your information I won’t support inclusion of any Tamil until the threat of Tamil terrorism is totally gotten rid of. Where in the south did you see Tamils doing only menial labour??? 50% of my batch mates were Tamil. They are all practicing their profession in SL and abroad similar to what the Sinhalese do. For your information, as a youngster our family Physician and accountant were Tamils. Many of my school teachers were Tamil who had a good command of Sinhalese. This is one reason I have always written asking Tamils to learn Sinhalese to improve their lives. It is people like you who consider what I say as racist, forcing Sinhalese on minorities! Yes, there is no need to state one’s religion on their job applications. At the same time I don’t think we had any problem with stating one’s religion. If you look around most Christians have better jobs than Buddhists. Tamils are handicapped not because of their religion but inability to speak Sinhalese where 85% of the population speak Sinhalese. Would you hire a Tamil who is unable to speak Sinhalese if you have a business in the south? I will not. In the same token, I will not hire a Sinhalese who does not speak Tamil if I am in business in Jaffna. Please, do not propagate false information being unaware of the real situation in Sri Lanka.

      Eusense
      October 20, 2016 at 10:52 pm
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      Sylvia Haik: You want North and East of Sinhale to be mono ethnic in every aspect. Sinhala speaking govt employees are not allowed even as medical doctors. Now, you want Tamil in the South too. so, Muslims and Tamils share the country abd Sinhala people are the majority and they just look for the sky. Are you Tamils dumb or have a mental problem ?

      jim softy
      October 21, 2016 at 6:18 am
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        Who is mental? somebody just stare the sky for no reason or somebody just mind the own business ?

        AJ
        October 21, 2016 at 3:29 pm
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    She should make a trip to the US and talk to minorities there to find out how they are treated and press the US gov. to show its commitment to minority rights through concrete actions. Sri Lankan minorities are best treated compared to any other country. From day one they had the right to vote, own land, education, practice their religion, live wherever the want to, travel, enter the political system, healthcare etc. etc. What reconciliation and minority rights is this woman talking about????

    Eusense
    October 20, 2016 at 8:48 pm
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      Nuisance I agree with you on your point in Minority Rights in the USA. The minorities are treated worse than dogs there without any rights or equality. The Black Americans had been marginalised for decades and the country is experiencing the total neglect of one Community now. The government and the community should work equally to achieve something. Not one way game. Give Give give but not getting any positive results. You need to clap both hands to make a sound. No infra structure , education were all Nil where these people live. Total chaos and neglect. The results are Total break down of Law and order. The Law does not give a damn about needs of that impoverished community. We cannot compare the Nation America to our LITTLE SL which is awaiting to fill BEGGING BOWLS FROM THE RICH NATIONS FOR SURVIVAL!!!!! These ambassadors of peace and equality should put their House in order before preaching others. The Point here of Srilankan Minorities they Have Every right to stand up against the bullies due to their vast intelligence and education, Most of all they too belong to the Land of ( milk and honey in the past) Ape Aanduwe which they HELPED TO WIN THE INDEPENDENCE BY STANDING SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH THE MAJORITY IN THE 1940s….. They will fight for their rights Until SL loses its IDENTITY. THATS THE REASON WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL, WE ARE NOT A NATION OF WEALTH BUT A NATION OF POVERTY BROUGHT ON BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU EUSENCE , Rajapussas ,HLDMs and others marching on in the path of SELF DESTRUCTION.

      Analyst
      October 20, 2016 at 10:34 pm
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        analyst, Your analysis is wrong again. Though you and I have the right to stand up against the “bullies” it is pure stupidity to indulge in terrorism. You saw this with the JVP in the seventies too but you ignored that lesson. There are ways to stand up for your rights and as you say if the Tamils had “vast intelligence and education” I don’t know why they resort to violence. You say “We cannot compare the Nation America to our LITTLE SL which is awaiting to fill BEGGING BOWLS FROM THE RICH NATIONS FOR SURVIVAL!!!!!” Why can’t we be compared? you don’t have to be rich to do the right thing, defend our country and be morally superior. Also, why do you thinks the blacks who are treated like dogs according to you won’t resort to violence against the US gov? Don’t they appear to have vast intelligence and education than the Sri Lankan Tamils? The poverty of SL is not due to people like me but Tamils like you who wasted our country’s resources by waging a terror war against us that destroyed a whole generation of Tamil youth and many Sinhalese while achieving nothing!

        Eusense
        October 21, 2016 at 1:28 am
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          There are ways to stand up for your rights, you eloquently lecture. Kindly enunciate the ways you have in mind for Tamils. Do you have the capacity to recall the results Tamils encountered when they tried methods that were democratically available to them. How did the Tamils get cornered. Don’t preach from the perch. As long as you and your ilk roam about in a medieval mindset there is no escape route for our beautiful land and people.

          Unreal
          October 21, 2016 at 7:32 am
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            U Am I the one with a mediaeval mind set or people like you who think suicide murdering citizens and terrorizing them is the way to fight for rights??

            eusense
            October 21, 2016 at 3:57 pm
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      Eusense: Once a donkey, forever a donkey. She is in Sri Lanka dealing with minority issues in Sri Lanka. The minorities of US are capable of taking care of their problems, if any. Why are you such a silly and attempting to put your nose behind your head?

      jansee
      October 20, 2016 at 11:38 pm
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        j Why do you think she is here in SL? Who do you think sent her here? You need to be smart. She will say all this but the power behind her has the final say and that is not good news for you. How many years have passed since this UNHRC debacle started? War ended in 2009 what has this UNHRC achieved so far in SL? I don’t blame you for living in hope. Good luck!

        Eusense
        October 21, 2016 at 1:38 am
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          Eusense, ” How many years have passed since this UNHRC debacle started?” How many years passed since Sinhalese Buddhist in govt since independence?

          Anpu
          October 21, 2016 at 3:20 am
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    UNP Treasurer Galleon Ravi said he is giving the whole Hambantota harbour to the Chinese Government, because he can not pay the debt. Did his UN Miss find out what Galleon’s boss Batalanda Ranil told the inhabitants during the election to give them Yahapalanaya?. Do our Yahapalana suckers know which debts were paid with that LKR 600 Billion Bonds , Batalanada PM’s dear friend Mahendran from the Diaspora arranged?. This is the chaotic situation in the land just in two years of Yahapalanaya. It is even worse Politically.. Batalanada PM sending his F******CID to search one of JO stalwarts, and a good mate of President for Bullet Proof cars in his garage seems to be the last nail of the Yahapalana Casket. Batalanada PM ‘s current strategy is to ditch the Sira Faction, and form a UNP TNA Government. I think it is a good thing as far as the great inhabitant population is concerned Batalandaand Bodhi Sira hybrid can’t even get UNP VAT passed. How can Batalanada give Vellala Sambandan a Federal Eelaam ,after what the F****CID and Pujitha Police did to JO Kumara?. Above average Yahapalana aficionados would know Batalanada now can not get Sira to help to keep the great Sinhala Buddhist majority quiet. Batalanad now has only foul mouth Rajitha to defend the UNP Yahapalana and its UNP Police. But Rajitha seems to be running sacred of the Srilanka Army. Not a good sign. After reading the UN Misses full speech to the Colombo Elite, I now get the feeling that UN heavy hitters have realized the ground reality in the Yahapalana Land.

    KA Sumanasekera
    October 21, 2016 at 1:37 am
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  5. 3
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    So this silly woman wants to change the laws of the country after travelling for 10 days. [Edited out]

    Lester
    October 21, 2016 at 3:01 am
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    What is this talk of “Minority Rights”? Why these “Experts” cannot talk and propagate “Equal Rights”? The moment we talk of “Minority”, the segregation starts and the “Majority” will get engaged in a controversy and start the fight. Is that what these “Experts” want? That, I believe is the “Grand Scheme” put in place by the “Big Powers” and their “Stooges” called “Experts” to disintegrate the unity of the so named “Third World” now termed “Underdeveloped”.

    Douglas
    October 21, 2016 at 3:48 am
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    What is this? a report? What has she found? apparently nothing! The same old stuff! In other countries minorities are slowly and surely disappearing but in Sri Lanka they maintain their ethnic character very well and work side by side with the majority Sinhalas. Many prominent business persons, politicians, judges (including the CJ) are Tamils or Muslims. If you verify who the top 100 richest people in Sri Lanka you can find more Tamils and Muslims than Sinhalas on the list. When I visited Sri Lanka I have seen poverty, unemployment, lack of self-esteem, personal conflicts, lack of education, and alcoholism among men, but it is among all communities (not only the minorities). Upcountry Tamils should thank the Upcountry Sinhalas for accepting them to Kandyan provinces by having renounced their land ( a few million hectares?) confiscated by the British for tea plantations. If it happened in Africa, the right owners (The Sinhalas) would have already chased the Upcountry Tamils and taken the land back! We should thank them for not asking for the land and not even asking for alternative land from North and East as compensation! This is a surprise to me! Defeating the LTTE is the best done by the previous government and it protected the innocent Tamils and the Muslims from a devastating end to their ethnicity. If the conflict had lasted for another decade, Tamils and Muslims could have become extinct. Therefore, this UN rapporteurs should write a balanced report, not a report pre-written by someone else who deliberately planned to belittle the efforts made by Sri Lankan governments and the majority people to bring reconciliation to Sri Lanka.

    Richmond
    October 21, 2016 at 6:33 am
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    This country appointed a man from the minority Tamil community to be the Central Bank Governor. We all know how he robbed the Bank and it is now reported that the loot is over 5.2 Billion Rs. And certain parties helped him. Today’s major daily reports: (quote) “The UNP team of MPs attacked the very foundation of the COPE report being prepared with the intention of presenting to Parliament on Oct 25. Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe ably assisted by Ajith Perera led their attack while their colleague Dr Harsha de Silva tried to bolster those arguments theoretically. They sought to justify the method Mahendran had adopted to auction the treasury bonds.” Therefore, we know the UNP too got a portion of the loot.

    Ruvan
    October 21, 2016 at 9:00 am
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    This so called ‘UN Rights Expert’ should start from the Western nations, particularly from USA where racial discrimination is rampant and police brutality is endemic. Besides, she does not have to waste time consulting ‘a large number of representatives of minorities’ including the ‘Africans’ in the country to compile her laughable conclusions. She should ask her employers to give her another job.

    Chandra
    October 21, 2016 at 12:28 pm
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      Chandra “This so called ‘UN Rights Expert’ should start from the Western nations, particularly from USA where racial discrimination is rampant and police brutality is endemic” It’s a good idea. The Blacks and Hispanics need you. Please have a word with Trump and see if you could educate him. ” She should ask her employers to give her another job.” Does it mean you desperately want her job?

      Native Vedda
      October 21, 2016 at 4:17 pm
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      “This so called ‘UN Rights Expert’ should start from the Western nations, particularly from USA.” You are correct, they should go after the USA first. – Sri Lanka fought a war in self-defense, USA illegally invaded two countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), and helped to overthrow the democratically elected government of Libya – Sri Lanka does not support or aid any foreign terrorist groups. Yet the USA is fighting proxy wars in Syria, Libya, and Yemen – Does the USA have free and fair elections? If the answer is yes, why is it that the Presidential candidate can win the popular vote and still lose the electoral vote, thereby losing the election? – The USA has vetoed every single human rights resolution brought against Israel in the UN Security Council. Even as a supporter of Israel, one cannot deny there is some ulterior motive there – How many school shootings in the USA? Fix the gun culture! – According to 2014 data, about 12–13% of the American population is of African descent, but they make up 35% of jail inmates, and 37% of prison inmates of the 2.2 million male inmates as of 2014 All the complaints the UN “expert” is making about Sri Lanka apply to the USA: corrupt/inefficient State institutions, too many minorities going to prison, even demilitarisation. How about getting out of Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Afghanistan!

      Lester
      October 23, 2016 at 12:36 am
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