- EU seeks a durable reconciliation process
- UK wants transitional justice mechanism established
- China stands by Sri Lanka; commends progress on HR
- India wants full implementation of 13th Amendment
The European Union, the United Kingdom and several other countries on Wednesday called on the Sri Lankan government to take steps to deliver fully on its commitments in resolutions 30/1 and 34/1 and to develop a comprehensive and time-bound implementation strategy.
Speaking at the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, in Geneva, where the UNHR Chief presented her report on Sri Lanka, the European Union urged Sri Lanka to take immediate and sustained action to implement its commitments and institute a durable reconciliation process and also to adopt a time-bound implementation strategy.
The EU said that in 2015, by co-sponsoring the Council’s resolution 30/1, the Sri Lankan Government had recognized the need to address the past in order to build a better future. The Government was urged to institute a durable reconciliation process, complete the return of occupied land, and advance transitional justice.
United Kingdom continued to urge the Government to take steps required to fully deliver on its commitments in resolutions 30/1 and 34/1 and to establish the full range of transitional justice mechanisms
Australia welcomed Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of resolution 40/1 as a positive demonstration of its commitment and encouraged it to deliver its transitional justice agenda in a timely and effective way. It said that more needed to be done to promote truth-seeking, accountability, justice and reconciliation.
Pakistan welcomed the establishment of the Office of Missing Persons. The return of 92 per cent of private land was also welcomed and efforts in combatting cross-border terrorism were acknowledged. Denmark urged the Government to prepare a transparent strategy to prepare a transitional justice mechanism with a time bound plan and institutional reforms in the military and police.
India had always supported efforts to preserve Sri Lanka’s character as a multi-ethnic society, including the Tamil community. India acknowledged that 75 per cent of the land held in 2009 by the security forces had been returned to the original and rightful owners.
“We take note of the progressive implementation of the commitments made by Sri Lanka and look forward to the implementation of its other important commitments made to the international community, including the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka,” India said.
Switzerland was alarmed at the considerable lack of progress in investigating abuses of human rights and violations of international law in Sri Lanka. Switzerland welcomed the decision of Sri Lanka to co-sponsor resolution 34/1 and urged them to implement it fully.
Norway recognized the role played by democratic institutions in the peaceful resolution of the political situation from October to December 2018. However, progress on transitional justice had slowed, and Norway urged Sri Lanka to continue to address serious human rights violations that occurred during the conflict.
China commended Sri Lanka for the results achieved in the domains of human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the rights of children, women and vulnerable groups. China had provided technical assistance and capacity building and hoped that the Government would maintain political stability and unity of the country.
Canada called on Sri Lanka to end impunity by enacting legislation that criminalized violations of international law without statutes of limitation and to establish a special court to prosecute violations of international law with the involvement of international investigators, prosecutors and judges.
Pakistan welcomed the establishment of the Office of Missing Persons