Canada – led Core Group raise concerns over challenges Sri Lankans face

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Sri Lanka Core Group comprising Canada, Germany, Malawi, Montenegro, North Macedonia, the UK and the United States highlighted their concerns over significant challenges Sri Lanka has been facing over recent months causing great hardship for Sri Lankans and the violent attacks on the peaceful protesters last month. The Core Group also called on Sri Lanka to cooperate with the High Commissioner and her Office and is ready to support Sri Lanka on the implementation of HRC resolution 46/1.

 At the ongoing 50th UN human rights council sessions in Geneva, the Core Group representative said, “We note that protesters have exercised their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of expression in recent months. We are deeply concerned by violent attacks on peaceful protestors and subsequent violence against government-aligned politicians and supporters. Those responsible for this violence must be held to account.”

They stressed the crucial importance of upholding democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and maintaining independent institutions. “We also urge the Sri Lankan authorities to address long-standing impunity and corruption, and underline the need for good governance and sound economic policies.”

The Group also raised concerns over surveillance and intimidation of civil society persists and stressed the importance of protecting civil society space. (SRM)