HRC37 Oral Statement at Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Sri Lanka
20 March 2018 10:20 am
37th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Item 6: Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka
Oral Statement Delivered by R. Iniyan Ilango on behalf of
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Monday, 19 March 2018
For instance the government has refused to accept recommendations to repeal or review the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act which has often been used arbitrarily against human rights defenders, civil society, and journalists.
Similarly while the government has seemingly accepted a number of recommendations to implement its commitments under resolution 30/1 of the Council on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka we regret that the government has rejected recommendations to develop a clear timeline and benchmarks to accelerate the implementation of these commitments – despite serious concerns about the lack of meaningful progress in transitional justice. Further, the rejection of the recommendation to take comprehensive measures to investigate and prosecute gross human rights violations during the civil war with the aim of ending impunity indicate its reluctance to honour commitments on transitional justice and resolution 30/1.
While we note the government’s acceptance to take steps to combat hate speech and incitement to hatred, guarantee freedom of religion, and prevent violence against religious minorities. Recent outbreak of attacks against religious minorities; and the government’s decision to respond outside the human rights framework by imposing a state of emergency and clamping down on social media are deeply concerning. In this context the government’s decision to merely note the recommendation to end impunity for incitement to hatred and violence further raises questions on its commitment to genuinely address these concerns.
We call on the government to develop a concrete and time-bound implementation plan in consultation with national human rights institutions, civil society organisations, and all other stakeholders. Thank you.
Recommendations 116.13, 116.32, 116.34 to 116.39, 116.136, 116.137, 116.144, 116.156, 116.161, 116.163 and 116.164
Recommendations 116.2 to 116.10, and 116.55 to 116.57
Recommendations 116.61, 116.62, 116.65 and 116.66
Recommendations 116.58, and 116.63 to 116.68
Recommendations 117.27 and 117.45
Recommendations 116.76 to 116.91
A/HRC/RES/30/1 (1 October 2015)
Recommendations 117.39, 117.40, 117.41, and 117.43
Recommendations 116.40 to 116.43
Recommendations 116.97 to 116.101
Recommendations 116.94, and 116.101 to 116.103
For a PDF version of this statement, click here.