At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories
publications

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

Arbour supports call for OHCHR presence in Sri Lanka

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Louise Arbour, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, ended her visit to Sri Lanka on October 13. Her observations and analysis reinforced demands of Sri Lankan human rights activists and others to establish an Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) presence in the country, although the Sri Lankan government opposes the idea.

(Bangkok, 24 October 2007) Louise Arbour, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, concluded a four-day visit to Sri Lanka on October 13. Her observations and analysis reinforced demands of Sri Lankan human rights activists and others to establish an Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) field presence in the country, an idea that the Sri Lankan government opposes.

Arbour met members of civil society organisations in Sri Lanka without intrusion of military or government. In Colombo and Jaffna, the capital of the northern province, she also met Tamil detainees held under emergency regulations and family members of victims of human rights violations, in particular enforced disappearances.  She regretted, however, that she was not allowed to visit the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)-controlled areas in the North.

In a press statement released on the last day of her visit, she pointed out that “there is a large number of reported killings, abductions and disappearances which remain unresolved” and that “the weakness of the rule of law and prevalence of impunity is alarming”. She concluded, “we should urgently resolve our ongoing discussions about the future of a productive relationship between OHCHR and the Government of Sri Lanka”.

During the press conference, she said that “technical assistance or co-operation is always a good thing. But I don’t believe that it is sufficient at this particular stage in dealing with the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. I hope to continue my efforts to persuade the government that the presence of the OHCHR in Sri Lanka would be a great benefit to the people”.

Arbour’s visit had the potential to become a turning point in addressing the serious human rights crisis in Sri Lanka, but the government showed a clear reluctance to take her observations and recommendations seriously. This poses the danger that her visit may just have been another missed opportunity.