Human Rights Council 54th Session.
Item 2 - Interactive dialogue on the report of OHCHR on promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka
Statement delivered by Ambassador Mr. Tormod C. ENDRESEN
Permanent Representative of Norway on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden
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11 September 2023
Thank you, Mr. President.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries
[Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and my own country Norway].
We thank the High Commissioner for this update. We welcome Sri Lanka’s efforts to release long-term detainees. Efforts to ensure devolution should include the timely holding of elections at all levels.
We welcome the government’s efforts to set up a truth-seeking mechanism but stress the need for such a mechanism to be inclusive and responsive to the needs of victims and their families. Ensuring accountability for serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law is important.
We urge Sri Lankan authorities to protect freedom of expression and assembly for everyone in Sri Lanka, including persons belonging to minorities, and stress that any replacement of the Prevention of Terrorism Act should meet international human rights norms. We remain concerned by arrests of peaceful protesters and arrests carried out under the national ICCPR [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] Act.
We support the recommendations of the High Commissioner’s report and call upon Sri Lanka to cooperate fully with the Office in line with resolution 51/1.