Sri Lanka urged to protect religious minorities and places of worship

Sri Lanka urged to protect religious minorities and places of worship

March 20, 2018   01:50 pm

The United States has expressed concern over ongoing reports of human rights violations and abuses by members of the security services, and recent attacks targeting members of religious minority communities in Sri Lanka. 

The UN Human Rights Council yesterday adopted the final report of Sri Lanka’s review under the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, which took place in November 2017.

In a statement for Sri Lanka’s UPR outcomes at the 37th Session of the UNHRC, the US said it welcomes the Government’s decision to accept the recommendations on full implementation of HRC resolution 30/1 and on accountability for the government’s, including the security forces, human rights violations and abuses, as well as accountability for those responsible for harassment and violence against members of religious minority communities.

“Although we are pleased with the Government’s support for these recommendations, we are concerned by ongoing reports of human rights violations and abuses by members of the security services, and recent attacks targeting members of religious minority communities.”  

The US urged the government to hold accountable all those responsible for human rights abuses and violations and to protect religious minorities and their places of worship.  

“We further urge the government to take additional steps to fully implement the commitments it made in HRC resolution 30/1 and reaffirmed in HRC resolution 34/1.”

The US said it looks forward to seeing Sri Lanka’s progress on implementing the UPR recommendations accepted by the government over the next five years.

Meanwhile the United Kingdom, delivering a statement during the Universal Periodic Review adoption for Sri Lanka, also welcomed Sri Lanka’s continued engagement in the UPR process.

“We also welcome Sri Lanka’s acceptance of a number of our recommendations.” This includes its accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, following the voluntary commitment it made at the Universal Periodic Review in November 2017.

The UK welcomed Sri Lanka’s commitment to design and implement strategies to tackle sexual and gender-based violence, including addressing related stigma towards victims and survivors, as per the National Human Rights Action Plan, the National Plan of Action to address Sexual and Gender Based Violence and the Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.

The UK called upon Sri Lanka to introduce legislation requiring businesses to report publicly on efforts to ensure transparency in supply chains, as part of Sri Lanka’s national action plan to combat human trafficking.

“We continue to urge Sri Lanka to fully implement the commitments made in resolutions 30/1 and 34/1, as the best way to ensure human rights and reconciliation and the long term peace and prosperity that is in the interests of all Sri Lankans.”

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