UK-led Core Group takes SL Govt to task

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan | Published: 2:00 AM Jun 23 2021

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

The UK-led Core Group on Sri Lanka yesterday (22) said the Sri Lankan Government has attempted to dismiss a number of emblematic cases and to initiate criminal proceedings against individuals pursuing some of these cases.

At the Human Rights Council 46/1, they called upon the Sri Lankan Government to address the harmful legacies of war and to protect human rights, including those from religious minorities. 

“We regret the lack of progress on these issues, with a number of further concerning developments,” they said. This counters the Council’s call for prompt, thorough and impartial investigations. We call for former CID director Shani Abeysekera’s safety to be ensured, they said. 

The Core group comprising Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Malawi, Montenegro and the UK, noted that they are deeply concerned about the ongoing use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the recent intention to introduce a rehabilitation process lacking adequate judicial oversight. 

Human rights lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, and poet and teacher Ahnaf Jazeem, remain detained without trial and further arrests under the PTA have continued, including among minority communities and the political Opposition.

 “We remain concerned about the restrictions on memorialisation. We join the Bar Association of Sri Lanka in requesting independent and impartial investigations into recent deaths in Police custody.” They also raised concerns on the appointments to the Office on Missing Persons and reiterated the importance of ensuring independent and credible institutions to achieve justice.

 “We encourage Sri Lanka to cooperate with the Council and Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in relation to resolution 46/1 and stand ready to support this,” they said in their official statement.  

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan | Published: 2:00 AM Jun 23 2021

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