Statement by India at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council
(25 February – 22 March 2019) under Agenda Item 2:
Interactive Dialogue with the OHCHR report on Sri Lanka,
delivered by Ambassador Rajiv K. Chander, Permanent Representative of India
[20 March 2019, Geneva]
We thank the High Commissioner for the report that assesses the progress made by Sri Lanka between October 2015 and January 2019 in the implementation of HRC resolution 30/1. We appreciate the sustained cooperation extended by Sri Lanka to the OHCHR.
2. As Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour, India cannot remain untouched by developments there. India has always supported efforts to preserve Sri Lanka’s character as a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious society that accommodates aspirations of all sections of society, including the Sri Lankan Tamil Community, for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka.
3. The Report has noted the constructive engagement of Sri Lanka with OHCHR and human rights mechanisms. The High Commissioner has also observed that Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms, the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation and the independent commissions have been consistent in their commitment to improve the human rights situation. The High Commissioner has noted overall improvement in the general situation with regard to civil and political rights.
4. We acknowledge that 75 per cent of the land held in 2009 by the security forces has been returned to the original and rightful owners. India takes positive note of setting up three structures with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka chairing the apex Ministerial Action Group to implement the HRC resolution. We welcome the establishment of a three-tier mechanism to regularly monitor progress for the effective implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan 2017-2021. 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.
5. India is working closely with the Government of Sri Lanka in the implementation of various rehabilitation, resettlement and reconstruction projects. We are supportive of the process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka and in the spirit of partnership, encourage it to dialogue and engage with all stakeholders so as to arrive at a solution, including implementation of the 13th Amendment, that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Interactive Dialogue with High Commissioner on Sri Lanka http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-council/watch/id-high-commissioner-report-on-sri-lanka-47th-meeting-40th-regular-session-human-rights-council/6016030743001