UK Statement on Sri Lanka at UNHRC Sessions
United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Statement during the Interactive Dialogue on Sri Lanka at the 31st regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on 22 March 2017:
“We welcome the High Commissioner’s report.
“We join the High Commissioner in recognising the steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka since January 2015 to improve the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, in particular the restoration of important democratic checks and balances, improvements in respect for freedoms of expression and movement, the return of some military-held land, the passing of legislation to establish an Office for Missing Persons, the ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances and the initiation of a process of constitutional reform. We commend these measures.
“However, as the High Commissioner’s report clearly states, much remains to be done. We urge the Government of Sri Lanka to provide the determined leadership required to deliver fully on the commitments it made when co-sponsoring resolution 30/01 and to develop a comprehensive and time bound implementation strategy. In particular, we encourage the Government to deliver meaningful devolution through constitutional reform, establish credible transitional justice mechanisms, return all remaining military-held private land and replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act with human rights compliant legislation.
“We also commend the work of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms and encourage the Sri Lankan government to give due consideration to its recommendations.
“Bringing about reconciliation and the conditions for lasting peace in Sri Lanka will require a concerted effort from all parties. The UK will continue to support and encourage the Sri Lankan government to this end.”
(BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION)