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Sri Lanka Updates HRC on Human Rights Measures taken to advance Human Rights, Peace and Security

The Sri Lanka delegation to the Human Rights Council briefed the Council today on progress made in addressing human rights concerns, national security imperatives, as well as reconciliation priorities.  Sri Lanka’s intervention under Agenda Item 2 of the Council, followed the Oral Update provided by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Madam Michelle Bachelet at the opening of the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council on 24 June 2019, where a reference was made to Sri Lanka.

Clarifying the latest situation in the Country following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks and its aftermath, Sri Lanka stated that it has made significant progress in assuring the security of all Sri Lankans and upholding law and order through the implementation of relevant laws and legal processes, among other important measures.

Sri Lanka further asserted that the national institutions in Sri Lanka continued to make interventions on issues pertaining to violence and extremism, as the Government pursued effective measures that have led to the dismantling of terrorist networks in the Country.


Statement is attached.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs



25 June 2019


Statement by the Delegation of Sri Lanka on the Oral Update of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at 41st Session of the HRC


Mr. President, distinguished delegates,

 We are pleased to take the floor under Agenda Item 2 in relation to the Oral Update presented by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Madam Michelle Bachelet, to the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council.

 We share with the High Commissioner the broad concerns expressed on several important issues where human security and human rights are at stake. We note in this context, a number of significant comments made on the role of the national human rights institutions, implementation of a strategy and action plan on hate speech, rights of migrants and statelessness, as well as concerns relating to the use of digital technology to the detriment of human rights. These are areas where we would continue to extend our cooperation to the respective human rights mechanisms in advancing further dialogue and positive outcomes.

 Mr. President, in her Oral Update, the High Commissioner also referred to the current developments in Sri Lanka, and in this regard, we wish to draw the attention of this Council to the following points:


Consular Mobile Service conducted in Mullaitivu, under ‘Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu’ Programme


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated for the fourth time, at the ‘Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu’ national programme, held under the guidance of President Maithripala Sirisena, with the aim of providing swift and sustainable solutions for issues faced by the general public.

As part of this national programme coordinated by the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry organized a consular mobile service at the Maritimepattu Divisional Secretariat in the Mullaitivu District on 07 June 2019 and participated at the Mullaitivu District Progress Review Meeting, chaired by the President on 08 June 2019.

Through the consular mobile services being conducted under the ‘Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu’ national programme, the Ministry provides solutions to many problems related to migrant workers and has facilitated several cases of repatriation of migrant workers.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs


19 June 2019




State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake assumes duties


The newly appointed State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake assumed duties at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, today, 29 May 2019.

He was sworn in as the State Minister of Foreign Affairs this morning before President Maithripala Sirisena.

State Minister Senanayake was received by Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, Additional Secretaries and other senior officials upon arrival at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prior to assuming duties, the newly appointed State Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana at his office.



Ministry of Foreign Affairs


29 May 2019


Sri Lanka's response to the joint statement issued by the UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect

Responding to the joint statement issued by the United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng and the United Nations Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect Karen Smith on 13 May 2019, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York Ambassador Dr Rohan Perera stated that their prejudiced statement only serves to sensationalize issues at a time the government is taking stringent measures to maintain law and order and quell unrest in the interest of safety of all and that it skews the situation on the ground and interprets post-April 21 events through a narrow prism of stereotypical labels, while disregarding the deeper and more nuanced issues at play.

The full text of the response is appended below:

Begin Text

Mr. Adama Dieng

United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide

 Mrs Karen Smith

United Nations Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect

Dear Mr. Dieng and Mrs. Smith,

The Government of Sri Lanka has carefully reviewed your joint statement of 13 May 2019, issued as a note to correspondents, where you have expressed alarm on the ‘growing acts of violence on the basis of religion’ in Sri Lanka. While noting your concerns, we were taken aback by your oversimplified narrative of events that are nuanced and complex in nature.

For the past decade, the people of Sri Lanka had been enjoying their hard-won peace and freedoms, and had embarked on the arduous path of reconciliation and national healing after nearly three decades of struggling against separatist terrorism. As has been perpetrated by ruthless terrorist groups inspired by ISIL/ Da’esh with global reach in many parts of the world, the horrendous Easter Sunday attacks were intended to create division among us and destroy the very fabric of our multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society, and deal an intentional blow to our economy. All peace-loving citizens of Sri Lanka are still trying to come to terms with the shock and aftermath.

While we mourn the loss of innocent lives, the support and solidarity from our friends in the international community, including the UN Secretary-General, have been overwhelming. We were reminded that we are fighting a common adversary in terrorism, and its associated manifestations of radicalization and violent extremism, which had taken many innocent lives from across many parts of the world in recent times.


Holy Mass and Memorial Service in Solidarity with People of Sri Lanka


On 26th April 2019, the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church in Etobicoke, Toronto had packed with Sri Lankans belongs to all faiths at an interfaith solidarity in Mass and Memorial service to honour the victims and to bless the injured in the wake of Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka.

This event hastily organized by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in association with the Canada-Sri Lanka Catholic Association in Toronto. The members of Federal Parliament of Canada and Provincial Parliament of Ontario, Mayor of Mississauga, Chief of Protocol of Ontario, members of the Consular corps in Toronto and other dignitaries among the participants.


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