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UNHRC Core Group calls for judicial independence and transparency of legal bodies in SL

June 20, Colombo (LNW): The Core Group on Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has urged the Sri Lankan government to ensure that its transitional justice mechanisms are independent, inclusive, impartial, and transparent, aligning with the expectations of affected communities.

The statement, delivered at the UNHRC session in Geneva by the UK’s Human Rights Ambassador Rita French on behalf of Canada, Malawi, Montenegro, North Macedonia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, highlighted key concerns.

The Core Group expressed gratitude to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk for his recent report addressing accountability for enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka.

The report underscores ongoing impunity for human rights violations, which the Core Group emphasised must be addressed by the Sri Lankan government to alleviate the suffering caused by these disappearances across all communities.

The statement also stressed the importance of any new Sri Lankan legislation, including those related to counter-terrorism and online safety, complying with human rights obligations, particularly in protecting freedom of expression.

The need to maintain judicial independence and the transparency of legal institutions was also highlighted.

The Core Group welcomed the recent release of land from the High Security zone in Jaffna but expressed concern over persistent reports of land disputes in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

Additionally, there were concerns regarding arbitrary arrests, irregular searches, and ill-treatment during police operations.

In conclusion, the Core Group urged the Sri Lankan government to ensure that transitional justice mechanisms meet the highest standards of independence, inclusivity, impartiality, and transparency to meet the needs of the affected communities.

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