Some HR concerns still remain in Sri Lanka: UK
The United Kingdom (UK) on Thursday said that though there was an improvement in overall human rights situation in Sri Lanka in 2015, some human rights concerns still remain in the country.
The Annual Human Rights Report-2015 issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) had taken positive steps to improve freedom of expression including the media and freedom of movement, reduce inter-community tensions and restore the independence of institutions such as the Human Rights Commission.
“The government also signalled its willingness to address long-standing allegations of past human rights abuses and violations co-sponsoring the UNHRC resolution committing it to reconciliation, accountability and the protection of human rights. In a positive change of approach, the government engaged constructively with the international community, including with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and other UN bodies,” the report said.
It said the UK was a strong advocate for the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) and instrumental in the adoption of the HRC resolution in which the OISL recommendations were reflected.
“In 2016, we expect the positive trajectory to continue. This is a moment of opportunity for Sri Lanka, and the international community has an important role to play,” it said.
The report said the UK will continue to encourage and support Sri Lanka to deliver on its commitments to the UNHRC and to make early progress to build wider support for its efforts to address accountability as the OHCHR present its recommendations at the next UNHRC session in June.
Meanwhile, it also said UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged euro 6.6 million over the next three years to continue their support for reconciliation and human rights. “Our work with the GOSL will aim to continue strengthening democracy and the rule of law, and reform the security sector, sharing UK experience and expertise,” the report said.