Item 2 - Interactive dialogue on the OHCHR report on Sri Lanka (HRC res. 46/2) (4.03.22)


Human Rights Council 49th Session.
Item 2: Interactive dialogue on the OHCHR report on Sri Lanka
(HRC res. 46/2)  

Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries
(Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden)

                                                                                     Check against delivery

4 March 2022

Thank you, Mr. President

I have the honour of making this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.

We thank the High Commissioner for her update, noting with regret the limited progress made on Council resolution 46/1.

We welcome the release on bail of Prevention of Terrorism Act prisoners, including Ahnaf Jazeem and Hejaaz Hizbullah, but remain concerned about others still in custody.

We are encouraged by the move to amend the PTA. However, we are concerned that proposed changes are insufficient to address human rights and due process concerns.

We urge Sri Lankan authorities to ensure freedom of speech, including for human rights activists, journalists, and members of minority communities. We call upon the authorities to put an end to surveillance and intimidation of civil society, including arbitrary arrests.

We are concerned about the lack of progress in the areas of transitional justice, accountability, and reconciliation, and encourage the government to increase their efforts in this regard. We urge the government to ensure the independence and effectiveness of institutions dealing with these issues.

We are also concerned about reports of deaths of persons in police custody and encourage proper investigations of these events.

We call upon Sri Lanka to cooperate fully and effectively with the High Commissioner and the UN institutions to ensure full implementation of Council resolution 46/1.

Thank you.