A delegation of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances concluded a ten-day official visit to Sri Lanka. The visit took place from 9 to 18 November 2015.
The victims of enforced disappearances have overall no faith in the justice system, prosecution services, the police or Armed Forces. The chronic pattern of impunity still exists in cases of enforced disappearance and sufficient efforts now need to be made to determine the fate or whereabouts of persons who have disappeared, to punish those responsible and to guarantee the right to the truth and reparation.
Thus, any successful initiative must be the result of a broad, inclusive, gendered, and participatory consultative process. Any comprehensive policy should address all the enforced disappearances that took place in the country regardless of the time of the disappearance and without any type of discrimination. The Government will need to adopt bold steps to reach out to and create confidence in the victims.
The Working Group reiterates its willingness to continue its constructive dialogue with the Sri Lankan authorities and offers its unreserved support for the full implementation of the Declaration.
The Working Group reaffirms its solidarity with the victims of enforced disappearance and their relatives. Their continued suffering is living proof that enforced disappearance is a continuous offence and a permanent violation of their human rights until the fate or whereabouts of the victim is clarified. The Working Group acknowledges the work done by many human rights defenders, civil society organizations, lawyers and all those who work indefatigably, including in adverse conditions, to eradicate this terrible practice.