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Pablo de Greiff

While Sri Lanka should not be hasty in trying to meet its commitment to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), it should address key issues such as returning military-held lands and tracing missing persons, UN Special Rapporteur on Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence Pablo de Greiff said.

The UN Rapporteur made this observation in his report on his visit to the country between January 26 and February 1.

“There is no country that can accomplish all this is a short period of time. Sri Lanka has embarked on an ambitious process that should not be prepared, let alone implemented, in haste,” de Greiff said.

De Greiff pointed out the time frame given to the Consultation Task Force on Transitional Justice suggests “unrealistic expectations”. The Task Force is to complete its work and report to the Prime Minister in just three months.

However, he noted that some things can be done in the short term to create confidence among the war victims. He mentioned that issues such as the return of lands held by the military, launching victims assistance programmes, and tracing missing persons could be addressed immediately.