Sri Lanka said an evidence-gathering mechanism that was contained in resolution 46/1 and which has led to division in the Council is unwarranted and unnecessary and will lead to politicization and polarization in Sri Lanka. The Foreign Office said so in a statement issued in response to Human Rights Watch’s “World Report 2022: Sri Lanka Section”.
Alleging that HRW’s section on Sri Lanka has painted an exaggerated and unduly negative image of the current human rights situation in the country, the Foreign Ministry issued the following statement: “Sri Lanka follows a policy of constructive engagement with the international community, including with international NGOs such as HRW on human rights issues, and we recognize their constructive role as human rights defenders. However, sensationalized and biased reporting in a particularly difficult global economic and social environment risks triggering and deepening national discord. We stress the importance of responsible, balanced and impartial reporting.
At the Human Rights Council in Geneva in September last year, Foreign Minister Professor GL Peiris said Sri Lanka was committed to seeking lasting peace, through an inclusive reconciliation and accountability process, designed and executed at the national level. Sri Lanka also reiterated its longstanding commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights in accordance with its own constitution and international obligations.
This message was reiterated recently by the Speaker during the opening of the 9th session of the Parliament of Sri Lanka on January 18, 2022.
The Sri Lankan government remains accountable to its people in fulfilling its mandate on all fronts, including economic, social and human development as well as the achievement of the SDGs. At the same time and despite the operational, economic and human constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has made significant progress in achieving post-conflict reconciliation, accountability and human rights, as undertaken before the people of Sri Lanka and reiterated internationally. The work of independent national institutions – the Office for Missing Persons, the Office for Reparations, the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation and the Sri Lanka Sustainable Development Council is an important pillar of this effort. . We have provided these institutions with financial and other support to carry out their independent statutory mandates. Regular updates on progress made through these national human rights and reconciliation processes can be found in Sri Lanka’s statements to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
In our response to HRW, we have highlighted the progress made in recent months on a number of areas they have addressed, such as amending the PTA, accountability, release of detainees under the PTA, freedom of association, the Covid pandemic and proposed amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Ordinance.
We also stated that with regard to international actors, the Government greatly appreciates the goodwill and guidance of our international partners, the United Nations as well as local and international NGOs. We continued our ongoing interaction with them and encouraged regular engagement with Sri Lanka.
In many such exchanges, including from visiting bilateral dignitaries as well as senior United Nations officials and United Nations special human rights mandate holders, we facilitated access to all the national interlocutors and we were open to their encouragement, advice and concerns. We particularly value our interaction with our national civil society partners given their established reach and expertise on many issues related to development, reconciliation and human rights. We have engaged them in our efforts to achieve the SDGs as well as on issues related to reconciliation. On a broader front, Sri Lanka has also invited Sri Lankan diaspora groups to partner with us as we move forward.
Regarding Sri Lanka’s position in the Human Rights Council, as we stated during the September 2021 session of the Council, Sri Lanka will continue its long-standing cooperation with human rights mechanisms. man of the United Nations as well as with the Council. We uphold our commitment to ensure accountability and reconciliation through national processes and institutions. As Foreign Minister Professor GL Peiris said: “We openly acknowledge our challenges and, as a responsible and democratic government, we are committed to achieving tangible progress on all issues related to accountability , reconciliation, human rights, peace and sustainable development. development”. Sri Lanka is of the view that the evidence-gathering mechanism contained in resolution 46/1 and which has led to the division in the Council is unjustified and unnecessary and will lead to politicization and polarization in Sri Lanka. Lanka.