Interactive dialogue on report of OHCHR on Sri Lanka
51st session of the Human Rights Council: Item 2: Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. Nordic-Baltic Statement, Delivered by Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi, Permanent Representative of Finland.
Thank you, Mr. President
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Finland.
We thank the Deputy High Commissioner for this update. We acknowledge the difficult circumstances Sri Lanka finds itself in. However, such circumstances should also be viewed as an opportunity to undertake much-needed reforms, ensuring inclusiveness.
We are concerned by the lack of progress in the areas of transitional justice, accountability, and reconciliation, and encourage the new government to demonstrate progress. Establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission would be a welcome start to an inclusive process, where impunity for past violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law are addressed.
We are deeply dismayed at the use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act against student activists despite an alleged moratorium. We urge Sri Lankan authorities to repeal the PTA, and in the interim, stop its use.
We urge Sri Lankan authorities to protect the freedom of expression and assembly for all, including persons belonging to minorities, and to stop arbitrary arrests of persons engaging in peaceful protests.
We support the recommendations of the OHCHR report and call upon Sri Lanka to cooperate fully with the Office in line with resolution 46/1 and any new resolution.