Statement on the adoption of the UPR report of Sri Lanka


FIDH and its partner organisation in Sri Lanka, the Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD), decry the Sri Lankan government’s response to key recommendations it received during its fourth Universal Periodic Review (UPR), held in March 2023. Although the government supported 173 of the 294 recommendations it received, it did not accept (“noted”) 115 recommendations and rejected six of them.

The recommendations noted by Sri Lanka include all of those related to the abolition of the death penalty, as well as several recommendations related to the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and the protection of human rights defenders. Most problematically, Sri Lanka rejected the recommendations to implement UN Human Rights Council resolutions 30/1, 46/1, and 51/1, which concern setting up transitional justice processes in Sri Lanka.

FIDH and CHRD welcome the government’s acceptance of recommendations related to repeal and reform of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), but note that a recent bill introduced to replace the PTA continues to include problematic provisions that would not ensure Sri Lanka’s compliance with its international human rights obligations, as recommended during the UPR. Moreover, recommendations that called on the government to cease arbitrary detentions - many of such detentions pursuant to provisions under the PTA - and to ensure the respect of fair trial rights were not accepted.

We call on the Sri Lankan government to implement all recommendations received during the UPR and to fulfil Sri Lanka’s obligations under international law.

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