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UN HRC54: Core Group concerned of intimidation & harassment of civil society and journalists, arbitrary use of laws to suppress dissent. in Sri Lanka

SpeechStatement by Sri Lanka Core Group comprising Canada, N Macedonia, Malawi, Montenegro, United Kingdom and United States. Delivered by UK Ambassador, Rita French.

High Commissioner,

We welcome your report on Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has made important recent commitments on land issues and devolution of political authority. We encourage Sri Lanka to turn these commitments into meaningful action and deliver long-awaited results. Sri Lanka still has a long way to go to fulfil commitments to justice, accountability, and reconciliation.

We note preparations for a truth and reconciliation commission, and emphasise the importance of an inclusive participatory process in the establishment of any mechanisms to advance transitional justice, to gain the confidence of all affected communities, in line with international best practices.

We are concerned by continued incidents of intimidation and harassment of civil society and journalists, and by the arbitrary use of laws to suppress dissent.

As Sri Lanka takes forward its economic recovery, we stress the importance of effective governance reforms and note the recent anti-corruption legislation. This must be accompanied by safeguarding established independent institutions, and democratic processes.

We call on Sri Lanka to work with the High Commissioner and his office [and remain ready to support Sri Lanka in addressing HRC resolution 51/1.]

Published 11 September 2023


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