Discussion on Sri Lanka

Norwegian statement delivered by First Secretary Paul Ø. Bjørdal

Mr President,

Norway welcomes the report from the OHCHR on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, submitted to this session of the Human Rights Council following its deferral at the last session.  The report contains constructive recommendations for follow-up.  We also thank the core group for providing a draft resolution on the report.

We appreciate the commitments and initial steps taken by the new Sri Lankan government to set up independent, credible and empowered mechanisms for truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence.  We applaud the commitment and concrete measures demonstrated in the speech of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Mangala Samaraweera in the general debate here on 14 September, and understand that Sri Lanka’s government is earnest in these efforts.

We sincerely hope it will be possible to reach consensus in the council for a resolution on reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.  We find the present draft resolution a good basis for consensus.  We would like to note that the involvement of international assistance in other countries’ processes for seeking truth and justice has proved important to those processes, and therefore support provisions along these lines in the draft resolution.

We stand ready to assist the Government of Sri Lanka in promoting a peaceful, inclusive and democratic nation.

Thank you for your attention.