The UNHRC Core Group on Sri Lanka told the UN Human Rights Council that it hoped Sri Lanka would put in place a clear timeline for the implementation of UN resolution as a matter of priority.
The Core Group statement on behalf of Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Montenegro and the UK as members of the core group on Sri Lanka was delivered by the UK's International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French.
“In the most recent resolution, the Council encouraged Sri Lanka to set a clear timeline for action, through a national implementation strategy. We hope that Sri Lanka will put this in place as a matter of priority,” she said.
In the statement, she thanked the UNHR High Commissioner for her update and repeated their condolences to Sri Lanka for the appalling loss of life in April.
“It is four years since Sri Lanka took ownership of delivering wide-ranging reforms to advance reconciliation, accountability and human rights through co-sponsorship of Council resolution 30/1. Sri Lanka repeated these commitments, most recently through HRC resolution 40/1, six months ago. The Core Group believes that the pledges made by Sri Lanka to its people are the essential ingredients for national healing, stability and prosperity,” Ms.French said.
She said the Core Group remained steadfast in its commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s future through the implementation of the resolution.
“Continued support for the process from the government and people of Sri Lanka will be critical for these measures to succeed. There have been important developments since 2015 which demonstrate good intentions on the part of the government and reflect the work of many committed individuals. Some key domestic institutions have been established. However, the pace of progress has remained slow in many areas, with bureaucratic constraints hampering delivery,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ms. French expressed concern on the appointment of General Shavendra Silva as Army Commander and said the appointment severely compromises Sri Lanka’s commitment to promoting justice and accountability and undermines reconciliation efforts.
“The Core Group believes that it is vital for peace and prosperity that Sri Lanka builds confidence in its commitment to protecting political space and human rights. This Council has been seized with the situation in Sri Lanka over many years and has made an essential contribution towards addressing serious violations of the past. But this work remains incomplete and requires our ongoing attention. It is vital that this Council and the international community continues to give the necessary attention and support to Sri Lanka as it continues on the path towards enduring peace and reconciliation,” she said.