The United Kingdom (UK) has offered to support efforts in Sri Lanka to make meaningful progress on justice, accountability and human rights.
Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Tariq Ahmad said that the UK stands ready to engage constructively in this respect.
He recalled that the UN Human Rights Council concluded its 46th session on Thursday, adopting important resolutions on Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Syria, Iran, Myanmar, Belarus and Georgia, among many other pressing issues.
“I welcome the adoption of the resolution on Sri Lanka. This signals the international community’s continued commitment to post-conflict justice and accountability. It also responds to the deeply concerning report by the High Commissioner who warned that Sri Lanka risked returning to the grave violations of the past,” he said.
Lord Tariq Ahmad said that it is therefore right that the UN should continue its monitoring and collect evidence to support future accountability processes.
As part of the resolution, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is to appoint legal advisors and criminal investigations on Sri Lanka.
The resolution has called on the Office of the High Commissioner to enhance its monitoring and reporting on the situation of human rights in Sri Lanka, including on progress in reconciliation and accountability.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has also been told to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its forty-eighth session, and a written update at its forty-ninth session and a comprehensive report that includes further options for advancing accountability at its fifty-first session, both to be discussed in the context of an interactive dialogue.
OHCHR will collect, consolidate, analyse and preserve information and evidence and to develop possible strategies for future accountability processes for gross violations of human rights or serious violations of international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka, advocate for victims and survivors, and support relevant judicial and other proceedings, including in Member States with competent jurisdiction. (Colombo Gazette)