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Sri Lanka: Human Rights

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 276526, tabled on 12 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Sri Lankan counterpart on the implementation of UN Human Rights Council resolutions regarding the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil war.

Answered on

17 July 2019

The UK continues to encourage and support Sri Lanka to deliver the commitments it made to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) through Resolutions 30/1, 34/1 and 40/1. We firmly believe that this is the best framework for establishing truth and achieving justice and lasting reconciliation. The Government has made these points regularly to Sri Lankan Ministers, including during a Ministerial visit to Colombo in October and in a number of meetings since. The British High Commissioner in Colombo also holds regular discussions on the implementation of the UNHRC resolutions with the Government of Sri Lanka.

In March the UK welcomed the Annual Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which assessed progress made by the Sri Lankan Government in the implementation of UNHRC resolutions 30/1 and 34/1. The Report found that the Government of Sri Lanka had taken some steps to address human rights concerns and to introduce more democratic and accountable government, including the return of some military-held civilian land, the establishment of an Office of Missing Persons and the ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances.

However, more needs to be done. The UK has urged further progress on these issues, and encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to deliver meaningful devolution through constitutional reform, and to establish and then utilise credible mechanisms for transitional justice. We continue to urge the Government to prioritise the steps required to deliver fully on the commitments it made in resolutions 30/1, 34/1 and 40/1, and to develop a comprehensive and time bound implementation strategy.

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