UNHRC 56: Sri Lanka Core Group Statement

Rita FrenchDelivered by the UK’s Human Rights Ambassador, Rita French, Geneva, June 19, 2024

Thank you Mr President,

This statement is by the Sri Lanka Core Group comprising Canada, Malawi, Montenegro, North Macedonia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

High Commissioner,

Thank you for your recent report on accountability for enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka which highlights longstanding impunity for human rights violations. We call on the government to engage with its recommendations to address the suffering caused by enforced disappearances and its impact on all communities.

It is crucial that any new legislation developed and implemented by Sri Lanka, including legislation relating to counter-terrorism and online safety, fulfils its human rights obligations, including protecting freedom of expression for all.

We stress the need to safeguard judicial independence and the independence and transparency of the country’s legal institutions. While we welcome the release of land from the High Security zone in Jaffna, we remain concerned by ongoing reports of tensions related to land seizures in the north and east of Sri Lanka and by reports of arbitrary arrests, irregular searches, and ill-treatment in detention during police operations.

We urge the government to ensure that transitional justice mechanisms are independent, inclusive, impartial, transparent, and meet the expectations of affected communities.

Thank you.

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