Written by Amani Nilar
05 Mar, 2022 | 11:53 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); The Core Group comprising Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Malawi, Montenegro, the United Kingdom and the United States has issued a statement with regard to the situation in Sri Lanka at the 49th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Thanking the High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet for her update, the core group acknowledged the first steps by Sri Lanka to address key reforms, while noting that progress since Council resolution 46/1 is limited.
In particular, slow progress by the Office of Missing Persons in fully investigating cases since the release of the preliminary list of missing persons is troubling, the statement read.
While mentioning that concerns over surveillance and intimidation of civil society persist and detentions, threats and intimidation of journalists and human rights defenders continue. It is crucial that civic space remains open, the core group statement underlines that the releases on bail of Ahnaf Jazeem and Hejaaz Hizbullah are welcome as are first efforts to bring the Prevention of Terrorism Act in line with international human rights law.
However, the proposed changes to the PTA are very limited and longstanding concerns remain, the statement emphasized.
“The new ‘One Country One Law’ taskforce risks undermining Sri Lanka’s pluralist society. We urge Sri Lanka to ensure that this taskforce’s work is inclusive and non-discriminatory,” the Core Group further stated.
We call for full cooperation with the High Commissioner and remain ready to support the Government on the implementation of resolution 46/1, it added.
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