In a recent statement, Sri Lanka was commended for its commitment to respecting the rights of all religious and ethnic groups. The country’s efforts toward political inclusion and constitutional reform were also praised. However, there are still areas that require attention, such as reconciliation, justice, and accountability for all communities, the preservation of civil society space, and the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
One of the recommendations made in the statement is for Sri Lanka to allow all communities to freely commemorate and memorialize victims of the civil war. This is an important step towards healing and reconciliation, as it allows individuals and communities to honor and remember their loved ones who were affected by the conflict.
Another recommendation is for Sri Lanka to repeal sections 365 and 365A of the Penal Code, which criminalizes same-sex conduct. This is a significant issue as it violates the principles of equality and non-discrimination in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. The repeal of these sections would ensure that all individuals in Sri Lanka are treated equally under the law, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The statement also calls for Sri Lanka to address concerns around land expropriation in the North and East by government departments, including the Archaeological department, and related restrictions on access to land. This is a crucial issue as it affects the rights of individuals and communities to their land and homes. It is important for Sri Lanka to ensure that any land expropriation is done in a fair and just manner, with the rights of all individuals and communities respected.