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HRC34: Denmark urges Sri Lanka  to advance rule of law and protect human rights on the ground and to ensure unfettered humanitarian access to northern Rakhine.

22.03.2017  10:55

34nd session of the Human Rights Council
Item 2 – ID on HC reports on Sri Lanka 22 March 2017
Statement by Denmark

[Check against delivery]

Thank you Mr. President,
Denmark fully aligns itself with the statement delivered by the EU and welcomes the report of the High Commissioner.
Denmark recognizes the advances on constitutional reforms and the steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to advance the protection of human rights in the country.
The adoption of Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 in September 2015 and the commitment made by Sri Lanka in this regard was a landmark decision. Denmark shares the concern of the High Commissioner that much remains to be done with regards to ensure full and effective implementation of resolution 30/1 as a means to moving forward on the path to reconciliation, justice and protection of human rights for all.
Denmark encourages the Government to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and replace it with human rights compliant legislation, return all military-held private land and establish credible transitional justice mechanisms. We further underline the importance of safeguarding civil society space.
Denmark notes with disappointment the lack of progress on a number of emblematic cases suggesting systematic impunity.  Such a practice can undermine the credibility of and popular support for the process of transitional justice. In this context, we particularly urge Sri Lanka to improve the human rights situation in the North and East.
Delivering on the implementation of the resolution in due time and keeping Sri Lanka on the path towards accountability and reconciliation requires determined political leadership by the Government of Sri Lanka. We therefore strongly encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to adopt a clear, time bound, and transparent strategy and plan of action for a solid and credible justice process with effective witness protection.
In closing, we would kindly ask the Special Rapporteur to elaborate on, how the international community can best support the Government of Sri Lanka on its path to reconciliation, justice and protection of human rights for all.
Thank you.