Sri Lanka again rejects UN evidence mechanism, citing globallegal impact

Sri Lanka has once again declined to accept the external evidence-gathering mechanism established by UN Human Rights Council resolutions 46/1 and 51/1, emphasizing significant legal and political implications for all nations involved.

“It is unhelpful and only serves to divide and further polarize communities in Sri Lanka, with no tangible benefits. It also prejudges the commitment of domestic legal processes. It is a
drain on scarce resources of member states,” Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva Himalee Arunatilaka said at the ongoing 56th Session of the UNHR Council.

She also said that the challenging human rights situations throughout the world must be assessed with impartiality, non-selectivity, objectivity and avoiding double standards in
keeping with the founding principles of this Council. “sri Lanka strongly opposes arbitrary and unilateral action which is contrary to these principles. Exceeding the mandate given by
Member States to the OHCHR and politicization could lead to erosion of confidence in the work of the OHCHR,” she said.

Sri Lanka also welcomed the progress reported by China at the recent 4th cycle of its UPR review. “we note the enormous progress made by China in uplifting the lives of the Chinese
people which enhances the meaningful realization of their economic, social, civil and political rights,” she said.

Speaking further, the ambassador said that Sri Lanka ‘shares the serious concerns expressed by many delegations at the immense loss of life and suf­fering we continue to witness in Gaza.’
Demonstrating significant public trust in the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), 5,556 out of 6,025 complainants appeared before the OMP. 

By April 2024, the OMP traced 16 missing persons, confirming 11 alive, 1 deceased, with 4 cases pending before the Court. Further, 1,709 families received Certificates of Absence (COA), with the validity extended until 2028.

The OMP collaborates with the ICRC to obtain technical assistance in data collection, protection and management and legal and forensic expertise, the ambassador added.

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