UNHRC members call on Sri Lanka to set time-bound plan

UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) members today raised concerns on the slow progress seen in Sri Lanka on the post war accountability issue.

Some countries, including Germany and Switzerland, called on Sri Lanka to set a time-bound action plan to carry out its pledges.

Delegations from the United Kingdom and the EU were among those who raised concerns on Sri Lanka after a written update was submitted to the UNHRC by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Switzerland said that it deplored the recent acts of violence perpetrated by extremist groups in Sri Lanka against the Muslim community.

The delegation from Switzerland said that Switzerland is concerned by the lack of progress in the implementation of resolutions 30/1 and 34/1 and calls on Sri Lanka to establish without delay a timetable and benchmarks with indicators.

Germany said that since 2015, Germany has actively supported Sri Lanka in its efforts in favour of justice, reconciliation and human rights.

“We witnessed significant improvements, notably in the areas of freedoms of expression and assembly, and important steps towards reconciliation – most recently the setting-up of the Office of Missing Persons. However, we are worried about delays in the implementation of this Council’s resolution on holding accountable those responsible for past atrocities as well as on repealing and replacing the Prevention of Terrorism Act. We are also concerned about recent outbreaks of violence, sparked by incendiary hate speech. The government needs to protect those targeted by discrimination and violence and to produce the suspects in court,” the German delegation said.

Germany invited Sri Lanka to announce a time-bound plan to carry out its pledges, and to continue its pursuit of a society in which all citizens fully enjoy their human rights. (Colombo Gazette)