The European Union today called for a durable reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, including through building confidence by completing the return of occupied land, replacing the PTA and advancing the identified transitional justice mechanisms.
Speaking during the debate on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today, the EU delegation welcomed the re-commitments made to the people of Sri Lanka and to the international community by the Government of Sri Lanka during the session.
The EU noted that in 2015, by co-sponsoring HRC resolution 30/1, the Government of Sri Lanka recognized the need to address the past in order to build a better future, grounded in accountability, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
“The full implementation of these commitments, which have been extended once again with the resolution tabled during this session, is now urgently needed,” the EU said.
While welcoming the improvements in some areas in respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Sri Lanka, the EU urges the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate and sustained action to implement its commitments and institute a durable reconciliation process, including through building confidence by completing the return of occupied land, replacing the PTA and advancing the identified transitional justice mechanisms.
The EU said it was also concerned about the continuing reports of harassment or surveillance of human rights defenders and of victims of human rights violations.
“Intimidation of victims and activists is not compatible with the reconciliation agenda,” teh EU said.
The EU encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to adopt a time-bound implementation strategy and we welcome that this is reflected in the resolution.
The EU said it will continue to support Sri Lanka as it looks to work in partnership with the international community to implement its commitments as it moves forward on the path of reconciliation, justice, and progress on human rights.
As a first step, the EU will closely engage with the Government of Sri Lanka to further strengthen the dialogue on governance, rule of law and human rights.
The EU will also explore with the Government of Sri Lanka how best to assist in the implementation of the resolution, including to ensure that the recommendations are implemented through a time-bound strategy. (Colombo Gazette)