The European Union (EU) extended firm support to the investigation on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and urged the Sri Lankan Government to support the probe.
However a group of ‘like minded countries” objected to attempts to exert pressure on Sri Lanka through the investigation, adding that the investigation did not have the full support of the UNHRC.
Montenegro and Britain were among the countries which supported to the UN led probe on Sri Lanka while China, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela were among the countries which opposed the probe.
Britain said that to achieve lasting peace and reconciliation, the grievances of all those affected by the conflict must be addressed and impunity for human rights violations must come to and end. The British delegation also raised concerns over the shrinking democratic space, military presence in the North and constrains on freedom of expression.
Ireland said that no one should be subjected to intimidation or reprisals for cooperating with the investigation on Sri Lanka and it also urged Sri Lanka to constructively cooperate with the probe.
“We welcome the positive measures Sri Lanka has introduced thus far which have contributed to the process of reconciliation on the island. However, we call on Sri Lanka to constructively cooperate with the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka. This cooperation entails allowing the team to collect and document victims’ testimonies and the accounts of survivors, witnesses and alleged perpetrators. No one should be subjected to intimidation or reprisals for cooperating with this investigation. In this regard, we recall this Council’s Resolution 24/24 which urges states to prevent and refrain from all acts of intimidation or reprisals against those who seek to cooperate or have cooperated with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights, or who have provided testimony or information to them,” the Ireland delegation to the Council said in its statement with regards to Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)