The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Ahmed Shaheed is due to arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow to carry out an official visit.
The Special Rapporteur will be in Sri Lanka from 15 to 26 August to look at how the country promotes rights to freedom of religion or belief, a statement issued by the United Nations Sri Lanka said.
“I will look at how Sri Lanka promotes and protects the rights to freedom of religion or belief. The visit will be an opportunity for me to have an open exchange with the Government to try to gain a better understanding of how it upholds these rights,” Shaheed said.
“I also look forward to learning about the efforts of the Government in developing and maintaining peaceful co-existence among different religious communities.”
The Special Rapporteur will examine progress made in the implementation of recommendations during the visit of the former UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Asma Jahangir in 2005. He will also aim to identify any existing or emerging obstacles to the enjoyment of the freedom of religion or belief in Sri Lanka by all and will present recommendations aimed at overcoming such obstacles.
During his 12-day mission, Shaheed will meet Government officials, representatives of religious or belief communities, civil society organisations and the UN. He will also visit areas away from the capital, Colombo.
Shaheed will present a report with his conclusions and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in March 2020.