To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the Sri Lankan Government's progress towards meeting the objectives set by the UN Human Rights Council in resolutions 30/1 and 34.1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.
The UK continues to encourage and support Sri Lanka to deliver the commitments it made to the UN Human Rights Council through Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1. We firmly believe that this is the best framework for establishing truth and to achieve justice and lasting reconciliation. I have made these points personally to Sri Lankan Ministers, and I welcome the announcement by the Government of Sri Lanka on 6 March that it will co-sponsor a further resolution at the current Council session.
The UK welcomed the Annual Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 21 March 2018, which assessed progress made by the Sri Lankan government in the implementation of UN Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 and 34/1. The report found that the Government of Sri Lanka has taken some steps to address human rights concerns and to introduce more democratic and accountable government.
These include the return of some military-held civilian land, the establishment of an Office of Missing Persons and the ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances. However, as I made clear to a range of senior Ministers on my visit to Colombo in October, and to Finance Minister Marapana in January, more needs to be done. I have urged further progress on these issues, and encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to deliver meaningful devolution through constitutional reform, and to establish credible mechanisms for transitional justice.
The United Kingdom has made a long-term commitment to improving human rights in Sri Lanka. The British High Commission in Colombo is in regular contact with the Government of Sri Lanka and other key stakeholders to encourage and support the implementation of Resolution 30/1.