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‘Pace of progress remains slow in Sri Lanka’ warns UK, Germany and Canada

Canada, Germany and the UK expressed concern that Colombo has made “slow” progress on accountability, calling on the UN Human Rights Council and the international community “to give the necessary attention and support to Sri Lanka”.

The states, whom alongside North Macedonia and Montenegro make up the Human Rights Council core group on Sri Lanka, said that “pledges made by Sri Lanka to its people are the essential ingredients for national healing, stability and prosperity.”

Sri Lanka had co-sponsored a resolution in 2015 that mandated an accountability mechanism with international judges to prosecute crimes committed during the final months of the armed conflict, in which tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed.

“However, the pace of progress has remained slow in many areas, with bureaucratic constraints hampering delivery,” said the core group statement on Tuesday.

"Madame High Commissioner, we share the concern expressed in your statement of 19 August that the appointment of General Silva as Army Commander severely compromises Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote justice and accountability and undermines reconciliation efforts,” the statement added. “The core group believes that it is vital for peace and prosperity that Sri Lanka builds confidence in its commitment to protecting political space and human rights.”

“This Council has been seized with the situation in Sri Lanka over many years and has made an essential contribution towards addressing serious violations of the past. But this work remains incomplete, and requires our ongoing attention. It is vital that this Council and the international community continues to give the necessary attention and support to Sri Lanka as it continues on the path towards enduring peace and reconciliation.”

See the full text of the statement here.

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