Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : 42nd Universal Periodic Review of human rights – UK statement on Sri Lanka [February 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 28 February 2023.

The UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva gave a statement during Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council.

Thank you, Mr President,

We welcome Sri Lanka’s commitments on respect for the rights of those from all religious and ethnic groups. Its recent efforts to foster political inclusion and constitutional reform are particularly welcome. We emphasise the importance of reconciliation, justice and accountability for all communities, independent domestic institutions, the preservation of civil society space and the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

We recommend that Sri Lanka:

  1. Allow all its communities freely to commemorate and memorialize victims of the civil war.
  2. Repeal sections 365 and 365A of the Penal Code, end criminalization of same-sex conduct and ensure equality and non-discrimination in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.
  3. Address concerns around land expropriation in the North and East by government departments, including the Archaeological department, and related restrictions on access to land.

Thank you, Mr President.