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Core Group reiterate 'profound disappointment' over Sri Lanka's withdrawal from UN resolution

Canada, Germany and the UK reiterated their "profound disappointment" over Sri Lanka's withdrawl of co-sponsorship from United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions promoting accountability, reconciliation and human rights. 

Addressing the UNHRC 44th Session, the member states, alongside North Macedonia and Montenegro, stressed that any "accountability mechanism must have the confidence of those affected".

"Since March, Sri Lanka has been battling COVID-19, and has kept case numbers significantly lower than the regional average. However, as stated by the High Commissioner, extraordinary measures to tackle the pandemic should not be used to roll back human rights. We share the concerns of Sri Lankan human rights organisations over the targeting and marginalisation of minority groups, the pardoning of Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake and promotion of others accused of serious violations during the conflict, and the militarisation of a wide range of civilian functions and public initiatives."

"We call on Sri Lanka to ensure that the country's democratic space remains open and accountable. We call for detentions and arrests to follow due process and be compliant with international norms and universal rights, for example in the case of lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, who has now been detained for almost three months without charge or presentation before the court. We call for an end to impunity for the violations and abuses of the past."

See the full text of the statement here