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Item 2: ID on HC`s rapport on Sri Lanka

STATEMENT by Ambassador Hans Brattskar, 22 March 2017

President,

Norway welcomes the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka. We commend Sri Lanka for its constructive engagements with this Council. We also commend Sri Lanka for its continued political commitment to reform and justice.

Still, much work remains. As the High Commissioner’s report points out, ‘Stronger, tangible results need to be forthcoming without further delay to prevent any further dissipation of hard-earned trust’.
Resolution 30/1 - “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” – continues to provide a useful framework. While appreciating the challenges, momentum must be maintained, built-up, and institutionalized. Promises must be fulfilled.

We are encouraged by Foreign Minister Samaraweera’s words that ‘Our resolve to see the transitional justice process through, has not diminished’. In order to avoid setbacks down the road, human rights must be respected every step of the way. And all parts of the society must be kept informed and consulted.

We reiterate the High Commissioner’s emphasis on implementing constitutional reform and transitional justice. The restitution of land held by the military and replacing the prevention of Terrorism Act by legislation that adheres to the best international practices, remain as key confidence-building measures.

We encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to pursue the different processes in a coordinated, integrated and appropriately sequenced manner. Such an approach would be a way to dampen impatience - amongst the international community - but most importantly, in Sri Lanka.

Thank you