Enlist support of international partners: EU tells Lanka
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 01:04
Call for release of Lalith and Kugan
Delegation notes improvement in Sri Lanka, focuses on challenges ahead in statement to mark Human Rights Day
The European Union has encouraged the Sri Lankan authorities to draw on the support of its international partners to assist with remaining challenges of reconciliation and accountability, the Delegation of the EU to Sri Lanka said yesterday in its statement to mark Human Rights Day.
The EU stands ready to offer assistance to the Sri Lankan government to help it address and overcome these challenges in order to help build a better and brighter future for all Sri Lankans, the statement said.
The Delegation noted that there have been significant improvements in Sri Lanka, since the end of the conflict, particularly on resettlement and physical reconstruction. The statement also welcomed the Northern Provincial Council elections. The Delegation has encouraged the Government to take further action to implement the recommendations in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report in order to ensure justice and meaningful reconciliation.
“Further challenges also remain in upholding the independence and effectiveness of the judiciary and the rule of law, strengthening freedom of expression, taking effective action to end religious intolerance and preventing sexual abuse of women and children,” the statement said.
Welcoming the visits by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Envoy on Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, the EU delegation encouraged the Sri Lankan government to extend further invitations to facilitate outstanding visit requests by other UN special mandate holders, including the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
“The EU Delegation in Colombo joins all those around the world commemorating World Human Rights Day and reiterates its solidarity with human rights defenders who continue to work bravely in difficult and hostile environments across the world. This year has special significance, as it is the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action, which created the post of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The statement said Human rights are integral to the dignity of society and respect for individuals. “The EU is committed to working with other countries to help them address their human rights challenges in order to create more prosperous, fair and just societies for all the world’s citizens. Many EU member states have grappled with difficult human rights challenges in the past, and continue to do so. By sharing our experience and working together we can make progress towards a better future for all,” the statement said.
The Government of Norway has aligned itself to the statement by the EU Delegation, the statement said.