UN Core Group wants close scrutiny of SL's reconciliation process
The UN’s Core Group on Sri Lanka, comprising Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Montenegro and the UK, expressed its disappointment on Sri Lanka’s withdrawal of support to Resolution 30/1, and stated it has no faith in the nation’s adoption of a different reconciliation process.
It also stated that it would consider publishing, by March 2021, a key report on human rights, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet – who also recently raised concerns over the draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution.
The Core Group noted that although Sri Lanka has proposed to undertake a new domestic process towards peace and reconciliation, the previous measures it had taken in this regard had failed to show real results.
It recommended that the Council scrutinise how the new approach differs from the previous attempts to judge whether it will prove effective.
The Core Group’s statement also read, “The future of the independent commissions, including the Office for Missing Persons and Office for Reparations, will be particularly important.”
“In the meantime, we continue to hear concerns about an increasingly difficult operating environment for civil society and human rights groups in Sri Lanka. Instances of intimidation, harassment, and surveillance continue, including threats to families of disappeared persons. Individuals are detained indefinitely without appearance before court, such as lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah.
“The Core Group expresses its strong solidarity with Sri Lanka’s civil society and human rights defenders, and calls on the Government to take all steps necessary to allow them to operate freely.”