UK’s commitment to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka

A debate on the UK’s commitment to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka was conducted on 18 March 2021, in the main House of Commons Chamber. The debate was selected by the Backbench Business Committee.

Motion text

That this House expresses its serious concern at the lack of progress Sri Lanka has made in implementing its commitments in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions 30/1 and 34/1, to address the legacy of the country’s armed conflict and to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights; notes with dismay that key transitional justice mechanisms like the Office for Reparations, the Commission for Truth, Justice and Reconciliation and a hybrid court, with international judges and prosecutors to investigate allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, have not been established, let alone operationalised; further notes with concern the ongoing human rights abuses, including those perpetrated against Tamils; is alarmed by the appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva, accused of committing atrocities at the end of the armed conflict in 2009, as the Army’s new Chief of Staff, and what this promotion says about the Government’s willingness to address human rights violations; notes the UNHRC will debate what progress Sri Lanka has made to deliver its Council commitments at its 40th session in March 2019; calls on UNHRC member states, including the UK Government, to apply an explicit timeframe on Sri Lanka to implement its promises, and ensure war crimes investigations take place; and calls on the UNHRC to ensure Sri Lanka remains high on its agenda, and to extend the monitoring mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, until the Council’s resolutions have been implemented fully and the foundations have been laid for a sustainable peace in Sri Lanka. (UK Parliament)

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