- UK declines SL request to knock off paragraph related to Muslim burials
- Pakistan asks for recognition of SL initiatives
By Kelum Bandara
The core group led by the United Kingdom (UK) has revised the draft resolution on Sri Lanka calling for, among others, to implement the recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteurs who visited Sri Lanka after 2015, Daily Mirror learns.
During an information meeting on the resolution, the UK informed the UNHRC in this regard. The resolution has been brought by the core group of countries led by the UK. The others are Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Malawi.
The Operative Paragraph (OP) 5 has been modified to give effect to this call. The UK delegate informed the meeting that the Special Rapporteurs had made a lot of constructive recommendations after their country visits.
The UK delegate said his country was calling on the implementation of these recommendations. Besides, the UK has turned down a request by Sri Lanka to knock off the OP 8 which deals with the issue of burial of Muslim victims of Covid-19. Sri Lanka wanted it to be deleted in the resolution on the basis that the issue is non-existent today since the Government has reversed the mandatory cremation policy.
The UK has taken up the position that it remained a concern for the past ten months. The UK had welcomed the burial of 24 victims as of March 7, but expressed concerns that 90 percent of victims had not been able to be buried according to information observed by it at the same time.
Another informal session was to be conducted. The UK had announced that it remained open for further suggestions from the participating countries.
China, Russia, Pakistan and the Philippines argued in support of Sri Lanka during the session. However, Scandinavian countries made suggestions that, if incorporated, would strengthen the language of the resolution. Pakistan asked for the recognition of Sri Lanka’s appointment of a commission of inquiry.
- The UK had announced that it remained open for further suggestions from the participating countries