The EU also said that it attaches great importance to the assessment by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on possible avenues for advancing accountability and to end impunity in Sri Lanka.
In a statement made at the UN Human Rights Council during the ongoing 46th Session, the EU reaffirmed its commitment to Human Rights, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.
“We regret that the Government of Sri Lanka no longer supports the comprehensive HRC process after 2015. We are concerned about a set back of the important gains made in recent years,” the EU said.
The EU noted that it is key to preserve achievements like the Office of Missing Persons and the Office for Reparation, safeguard their independence and provide them with sufficient resources.
“We share the concern of the High Commissioner about the warning signs of a deteriorating human rights situation, mainly the erosion of democratic checks and balances and the rise of exclusionary rhetoric. We are particularly worried about intensified surveillance and intimidation of CSOs, human rights defenders and victims,” the EU said.
The EU said it was also concerned about the ongoing impunity for past gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law, including torture and ill-treatment.
“Though the HRC has for many years stressed the need for accountability, domestic processes did not deliver. We therefore attach great importance to the High Commissioner’s assessments on possible avenues for advancing accountability and end impunity,” the EU said.
The EU hopes that the Government of Sri Lanka will remain committed to promoting reconciliation and accountability in the country. (Colombo Gazette)