UK notes improvements in Sri Lanka but will push for probe

UK FCOThere was an improvement in the overall human rights situation in Sri Lanka in 2015, although some concerns remain, the British Government said today in its annual Human Rights and Democracy Report.

The 2015 Human Rights and Democracy Report noted that the Government of Sri Lanka took positive steps last year to improve freedom of expression (including the media) and freedom of movement, reduce inter-community tensions, and restore the independence of institutions such as the Human Rights Commission.

The Government also signalled its willingness to address long-standing allegations of past human rights abuses and violations, co-sponsoring a resolution in the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in October committing it to reconciliation, accountability and the protection of human rights. In a positive change of approach, the government engaged constructively with the international community, including with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and other UN bodies.

In 2015, the UK worked to encourage and support the government’s reform process. The UK lobbied for progress on key issues such as the return of military-occupied land, the lifting of bans on Tamil diaspora organisations, and the release of long-term detainees held without charge under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

The UK was a strong advocate for the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) and instrumental in the adoption of the HRC resolution in which the OISL recommendations were reflected. We supported this political effort through targeted funding that supported domestic monitoring efforts and increased participation for parliamentary elections in August. We also worked to improve police standards and police-community relations, and promoted interfaith dialogues across the country.

“Some of these positive changes are less apparent in the north and east. Human rights defenders continued to report harassment and surveillance in 2015, a point raised by the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances during their visit in November. The OISL report also highlighted a number of human rights concerns that still remain, including continued reports of torture, and sexual and gender-based violence. The UK has urged the government to investigate these and other allegations of human rights violations, and will continue to push for progress in these areas,” the UK report said.

In 2016, the UK Government says it expects the positive trajectory to continue adding that this is a moment of opportunity for Sri Lanka, and the international community has an important role to play.

OHCHR will present its assessment of progress on implementation of its recommendations at the HRC’s 32nd session in June. The British Government says it will continue to encourage and support Sri Lanka to deliver on its commitments to the HRC, and to make early progress to build wider support for its efforts to address accountability.

The UK Prime Minister has pledged £6.6m over the next three years to continue UK’s support for reconciliation and human rights.

The UK report says Britain will work with the Government of Sri Lanka and will aim to continue strengthening democracy and the rule of law, and reform the security sector, sharing UK experience and expertise. (Colombo Gazette)

6 COMMENTS

  1. UK has the worst human records in the world. They kept many countries as slaves and massacred billions of innocent people. Why no one complain this to UN and take action against UK?

    • I agree Antany in your case you are what Malcolm X describe as house slave because you got full freedom to leave the West any time but you wont hypocrite.

  2. MORALITY BECOMES A WEAPON TO THE WESTERNERS

    The Western Countries are the masters at occupying the high ground, and translating it into great power. In their hands morality becomes a weapon, they wield to attract attention to their cause while distracting attention to others. They make such a show of moral superiority that the others feel ashamed to disagree with them. The Western Countries have killed millions of innocent people, yet they present themselves as moral superiors. In fact, the British knew the meaning of democracy and human rights from the 12th century, but they never practised it while killing millions of innocent people to takeover others’ homelands and resources. They are free to do whatever they want, by waving their magic cards so called “democracy and human rights”. In fact, the Americans, Australians, Canadians and Kiwis do not even live in their own country. If that is the reality then how can they talk more about democracy than others?

    The Spanish took part of South America, the Dutch and Portuguese took part of South America and Asia, the French took Africa, and the British took most parts of the world. Millions of innocent people were killed by the Westerners. More than a hundred million indigenous people were killed in Australasia and North America. Twenty two million Africans were killed during the slave trade. Fifty nine million Indians were killed by starvation while the British rulers were sending India’s food to the United Kingdom and Europe. Furthermore, more than one million people were killed in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. But no-one was held accountable for those innocent people’s deaths. However, the British and the Americans kept the records of Nazi Germans’ atrocities in detail, and exposing them to the world, in order to cover-up their own atrocities. The Western Countries will never admit their atrocities; if they do then they can’t keep themselves on top.

    The Western countries are extremely clever in disguising their ulterior motives and dirty tricks. The Western Countries’ core focus in the Middle Eastern countries is oil, not democracy or human rights. It is all about exploiting others’ resources and keeping others under them. According to the Independent newspaper of London, Britain discussed plans to exploit Iraq’s oil reserves with some of the world’s biggest oil companies five months before it joined the United States by invading the country in 2003. Citing previously secret documents, the newspaper said at least five meetings were held between British officials and BP and Royal Dutch Shell in late 2002. BP privately said to the British Foreign Office that Iraq was “more important than anything we’ve seen for a long time.” The documents were obtained by the oil campaigner Greg Muttitt, author of the new book Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq.

    “Mr Blair famously said in early 2003, ‘The idea that we’re interested in Iraq’s oil is absurd, it’s one of the most absurd conspiracy theories you can imagine”. While he was saying that, there was an internal secret document revealing the British strategy to exploit Iraqi oil, and it said, “Britain has an absolutely vital interest in Iraq’s oil”

    • Sri Lanka’s self proclaimed morality expert, pseudo intellectual & ex LTTE turncoat Anatny Peter’s one may ask where is he living surprise in the immoral West.
      Now who need some reality check?

  3. None of those events are recorded in British or American history – conveniently forgotten, so British born children have no idea about the truth of the Empire. They believe the Empire building was a great achievement by their great ancestors. The greedy queen Victoria is held in high esteem as is the present queen Elizabeth, shamelessly wearing the stolen jewellery of other countries they invaded. They destroyed whole nations their cultures and livelihoods. Sri Lanka was a thriving ship building country when the first batch of whites, the Portuguese happened upon its shores. They destroyed it all, having taken over the coastal areas, appropriating everything to themselves and converting locals to Catholicism under threat of their gun power, destroying Buddhist temples and their ancient scriptures and everything of historical value.

    The West still continues their empire building in a strategic way using the slogans ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’. Most recent destruction was Libya – a country where people had free electricity and health care and no taxes levied on income !!! Blair had said Libya was a virtual gold mine – where is Libya now?

  4. How condescending for England to say what we should do in our country or be judgemental on any of our affairs. They need to be reminded of their brutal rule which must never be forgotten ever.

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