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Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa | Pic by Ravindra Dharmathilake

Legal experts last week said that the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (2011-2016) was weak as the tasks and targets allocated for the Ministries had not been achieved.
Senior Lecturer at the Department of Commercial Law of the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa called for the matter to be rectified in the new one from 2017-2021.
He said that a practical methodology must be considered and established.
“This should not merely be a document to satisfy the United Nations or other international agencies,” he pointed out. He questioned whether the plan was looked at as a national issue or as a means of pleasing the international community and the diaspora.
“With regard to the previous plan, the key responsible agencies did not go for the targets set forth. There must be more time for public consultation. Commissions, the public, the private sector and non-governmental organizations must be involved in the interim process,” he said.
“Yet this is practically not happening. A national inquiry should be held. Where is protection for victims and witnesses? Police torture and harassment is still taking place as in the recent case in Hambantota,” he further explained.