Statement by Sri Lanka during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non- recurrence at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council

17 09 2020 HRC 45 r


45th Session of the Human Rights Council
Agenda Item 3:
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of
truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non- recurrence

17 September 2020

 Madam President,

As this Council is aware, in November last year, the people of Sri Lanka gave a resounding mandate to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to pursue a policy framework aimed at achieving the fourfold outcome of “a productive citizenry, a contented family, a disciplined and just society and a prosperous nation.”

The people of Sri Lanka gave a second mandate at the General Election held last month, with an unprecedented percentage of 59.09%, for the first time in the history in an election held under the Proportional Representation System. This is a re-endorsement of the first mandate and a clear signal of their support for a path forward for the country, towards prosperity while safeguarding the people and protecting the sovereignty of the country without succumbing to any force.

At a time when even the most powerful countries in the world were left helpless in the wake of COVID – 19 pandemic, Sri Lanka was able to successfully face the challenge by containing the spread of COVID-19, thanks to a well-coordinated mechanism of preventive measures at the national level assisted by a robust local healthcare system.

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Special Notice

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It has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Colombo by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PSTF) that Sri Lankan nationals abroad have been seeking to enter Sri Lanka via Male without prior PSTF approval. It is reported that such individuals have been travelling to Male on commercial flights from different destinations including from Central Europe, and have been stranded in Male due to lack of PSTF approval to proceed to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan nationals are hereby advised to refrain from seeking to return to Sri Lanka via Male, Maldives, without prior PSTF approval. Sri Lankans in Switzerland who wish to be repatriated to Sri Lanka are kindly requested to register with the Mission by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. under the subject “Request Assistance to Return to Sri Lanka”.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations - Geneva

15.09. 2020

Notice in Sinhala (PDF)

Notice in Tamil (PDF)

Notice in English (PDF)

Statement by Sri Lanka during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to development at the 45th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

16 sep 2020 right to dev
45th Session of the Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to development

16 September 2020

Statement by Sri Lanka

Madam President, 

Sri Lanka thanks the Special Rapporteur (SR) on the Right to Development for his thematic report (A/HRC/45/15) on “financing for development”. We appreciate the activities undertaken by him during the past year in furtherance of the mandate.

The current report of the SR is being presented to this Council at a time when the world continues to grapple with an unprecedented global crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, in addition to challenging the health and safety of millions, has threatened to stymie if not reverse many hard-earned gains of developing countries in delivering on the 2030 sustainable development agenda. In this regard, we welcome the SR’s call to governments and international financial institutions, in April 2020, to remain true to their commitment under the 2030 agenda and to the promise “to leave no one behind” in their response to the COVID crisis. We echo the SR’s grave concerns regarding the profound impact that the pandemic will have on financing for development, and look forward to his report to the General Assembly which would examine the effects of the pandemic from the perspective the right to development.

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Statement by Sri Lanka during the during the General Debate under Agenda Item 2 at the 45th Session of the UN Human rights Council


15 sept 2020 hrc 45 session
45th Session of the Human Rights Council

Agenda Item 2: General Debate

15 September 2020

Statement by Sri Lanka

 Madam President,

Sri Lanka wishes to respond to the references made by the High Commissioner for Human Rights to Sri Lanka in the ‘Global Human Rights Update’ on 14 September 2020.

As this Council is aware, since February/March this year, the entire world was challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, a health crisis of a global scale, which had impacted many aspects of governance in many countries, and Sri Lanka was no exception.

We hope that this Council would appreciate that Sri Lanka while successfully containing the spread of COVID-19 through a balanced, multi-sectoral approach, and despite this challenge, held its commitment to the democratic processes, and conducted Parliamentary elections successfully and peacefully, last month, which the EU has acknowledged.

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Statement by Sri Lanka during the Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the oral update by the High Commissioner on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic at the 45th Session of the UN Human rights Council

 15 sept 2020 hrc 45 session


45th Session of the Human Rights Council

Agenda Item 2: Enhanced interactive dialogue on the oral update of the High Commissioner on the human rights impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

15 September 2020

 Madam President,

As this Council is aware, last November, the people of Sri Lanka gave a resounding mandate to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to pursue a policy framework aimed at achieving the fourfold outcome of “a productive citizenry, a contented family, a disciplined and just society and a prosperous nation.

 This historic mandate was renewed by the people at the General Election held last August, with an unprecedented percentage of 59.09% votes, for the first time in the history, in an election held under the Proportional Representation System. This is a clear signal of the support of the people of Sri Lanka for a path forward for the country, towards prosperity while safeguarding the people and protecting the sovereignty of the country without succumbing to any force.

Read more...

Special Notice - Resumption of All Regular Consular Services at the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Geneva

                                                                                            crest name resized

Special Notice

  Resumption of All Regular Consular Services

at the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Geneva


Considering the gradual lifting of COVID-19 related restrictive measures by Swiss authorities, the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Geneva has decided to resume its all regular consular services  on prior appointment basis.

You may contact the telephone numbers mentioned below, to obtain an appointment prior to visiting the Consulate General:

Sinhala & English    :  022 919 1251 / 022 919 1250 (2.30 pm - 5 pm)
Tamil                      : 
022 788 2441 / 022 919 1250    (2.30 pm - 5 pm)
Email                      :   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Sri Lanka Consulate General in Geneva
24.07.2020

View Notice in Sinhala

View Notice in Tamil

View Notice in English

 

Statement by Sri Lanka at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since1967, during the 44th session of the Human Rights Council

16 july 2020 acting pr statement palestine r


Statement by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

44th Session of the Human Rights Council
Item 7: ID with SR on Occupied Palestinian Territory
16th July 2020

Madam President,

Sri Lanka takes note of the report presented by Mr. Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.

Sri Lanka associates itself with the statement delivered by Azerbaijan on behalf of the NAM.

We share the concerns raised by the UN Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices and the Special Rapporteur, on the planned annexation by Israel which would constitute a grave breach of international law, including the UN Charter, relevant Conventions as well as Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

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Statement by Sri Lanka at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association during the 44th session of the Human Rights Council

9 july 2020 acting pr ms dayani mendis

Agenda Item 3: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

09 July 2020
Statement by Sri Lanka

Mr. Vice President,

Sri Lanka thanks Mr. Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association for the report on his visit to Sri Lanka from 18-26 July 2019 (A/HRC/44/50/Add.1). The Government of Sri Lanka shared its comments on the contents of the Special Rapporteur’s advanced unedited report, some of which have been incorporated into the final version that has been presented today. At this interactive dialogue, we wish to share some further comments on matters contained in the report, and provide updates where available.

Mr. Vice President,

As acknowledged by the Special Rapporteur in his Report, the Government of Sri Lanka extended full cooperation and support to the Special Rapporteur “before, during and after the visit, especially given the great difficulties presented at the time”, demonstrating commitment to engage constructively and meaningfully with the Special Rapporteur.
We take note of the recognition in the report, of Sri Lanka’s “particular circumstances as a post-conflict and multi-ethnic society”, and the Special Rapporteur’s condolences to the victims of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.

The facilitation of the Special Rapporteur’s visit, even as the country was grappling with challenges associated with a new manifestation of terrorism, demonstrates Sri Lanka’s commitment to continue its constructive engagement with UN human rights mechanisms. The visit of the Special Rapporteur was among the 9 country visits undertaken by Special Procedure Mandate Holders on different thematic mandates to Sri Lanka in the past 5 years, and we remain committed to fostering this cooperative dialogue.

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Statement by Sri Lanka at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, during the 44th Session of the HRC

06 July 2020 acting pr ms dayani mendis


Statement by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

44th Session of the Human Rights Council

Agenda Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants

 06 July 2020

 

Madam President,

Sri Lanka welcomes the report presented by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. 

The contribution of migrant workers to economic growth and development is increasingly becoming critical not only for their own countries, but also as a catalyst for the upward socio-economic mobility in the region and internationally.

We believe that the COVID-19 crisis taught the world that coordinated and concerted efforts are needed to ensure that migrant health is addressed without discrimination throughout the migration cycle. A further consequence of Covid-19 has been the shrinking of the employment market, which could lead to a serious shortfall in the numbers of migrant workers who will leave for work this year and in turn a drop in worker remittances.

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Statement by Sri Lanka at the ID with the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

06 july 2020 first secretary ms udani gunawardena

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 Statement by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

44th Session of the Human Rights Council

Agenda Item 3: Interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health

06 July 2020

Madam President,

Sri Lanka welcomes the report presented by the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. We believe this is timely given that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting both the physical and mental health of the peoples around the world in an unprecedented manner.

According to WHO statistics, the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 has been identified as suicide and most causes are both preventable and treatable. It is distressing that every 40 seconds, someone is dying of suicide somewhere in the world. 

It is important to ask what kind of concerns mental health issues cause for humanity and what must be done to address this challenge as we pursue a policy of 'leaving no one behind' in advancing the UN development agenda- 2030, and specially SDG 3  - Good Health and Well-being.

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44th Session of the Human Rights Council Agenda Item 2: Interactive dialogue on the annual report of the High Commissioner 02 July 2020

2 july 2020 44 hrc session agenda 2

44th Session of the Human Rights Council

Agenda Item 2: Interactive dialogue on the annual report of the High Commissioner

02 July 2020

Statement by Sri Lanka

Madam President,

Sri Lanka welcomes the presentation by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Annual Report of her Office for 2019.We appreciate the initiatives taken by the Office to provide technical and financial assistance to States upon request, and highlight the need for equitable geographical representation in the Office. In continuation of our commitment to constructive engagement, Sri Lanka will be making a voluntary contribution of USD 5000 to the Office of the High Commissioner in 2020.

Sri Lanka also notes the oral update provided to this Council by the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday, on COVID-19 related human rights implications in the world. We welcome the High Commissioner’s request for greater international solidarity in recovering from the pandemic, especially her call to recognize a future COVID-19 vaccine as ‘a global public good’, and the call for easing or suspension of sanctions that hinder pandemic-related relief.

As a country that has guaranteed free universal healthcare to all its people since 1953, through one of the highest per capita health expenditures in its region, Sri Lanka has been able to successfully contain the spread of COVID-19 through a balanced, multi-sectoral approach.

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Statement by Sri Lanka at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council on racially inspired human rights violations against people of African descent,17 June 2020

17 june 2020 statement sri lanka

43rd Session of the Human Rights Council
Agenda Item 1 - Urgent Debate on the “current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protest”
Statement by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
17 June 2020

 Madam President,

Sri Lanka considers this Urgent Debate on “racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism and police brutality against people of African descent, and violence against peaceful protest” an important and timely decision by the Human Rights Council (HRC) during its on-going 43rd session. We thank the African Group for proposing this initiative and the members of the Council for endorsing it.

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Statement by Sri Lanka at the resumed 43rd session of the Human Rights Council under Agenda Item 7: Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, 15 June 2020

15 june 2020 statement by Sri Lanka

Statement by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

43rd Session of the Human Rights Council

Item 7: General Debate

15 June 2020

Madam President,

Sri Lanka takes this opportunity to re-iterate its consistent and principled position that the people of Palestine have a legitimate and inalienable right to statehood and to the natural resources in their territory.

In this respect, we take note of the reports presented by the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories under Agenda Item 7 and express deep concern on, among other matters, the issue pertaining to settlement expansion, particularly the recent decision by the Government of Israel to proceed with the annexation of significant parts of the occupied West Bank. l. We echo the alarm expressed by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967 and the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process in this connection, and join international calls to urge the Government of Israel to halt any annexation activities, which would have far reaching and devastating repercussions. As stated in the Communique of the NAM Coordinating Bureau, of 15 May 2020, we note that this would constitute a grave breach of international law, including the UN Charter, relevant conventions as well as Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.  

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Sri Lanka raises concerns on reference to Sri Lanka in OHCHR press release

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Sri Lanka’s Acting Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Dayani Mendis, in a letter addressed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has raised concerns regarding the allegations made in a press release issued by the High Commissioner on 03 June 2020 regarding “clampdown” of freedom of expression during COVID-19, in which a reference had been made to Sri Lanka.

The letter highlights that it has become essential for all countries and Governments to take measures to counter misinformation and disinformation in the interest of protecting public health, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures are also in line with the consensus resolution on COVID-19 response adopted on 18 May 2020 at the 73 World Health Assembly (WHA), which also, inter alia, calls on Member States to provide the population with reliable and comprehensive information on COVID-19 and take measures to counter misinformation and disinformation.

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Special Notice: Resumption of Consular Services at the Consulate General Of Sri Lanka in Geneva

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Considering the gradual lifting of COVID-19 related restrictive measures by Swiss authorities, the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Geneva has decided to resume providing limited? consular services, on a prior appointments basis.

Accordingly, consular services listed below will be given priority:

1. Issuance of emergency passports;
2. Issuance and certification of documents relevant to deaths;
3. Renewal of passports (already expired);
4. Lost passports (from 01.01.2020 up to now);
5. Birth registrations within one year;
6. Urgent authentications;
7. Other urgent matters including dual citizenship applications.

 You may contact the telephone numbers mentioned below, before submitting your application for consular services via registered post:

          Sinhala & English :   (0041) 022 919 1251 / 022 919 1250 (9 am - 5 pm)
         Tamil                   :    (0041) 022 788 2441 / 022 919 1250 (9 am - 5 pm)

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20th Anniversary of the International Recognition of Vesak commemorated in Geneva

7 may 2020 Ajahn Amaro f7 may 2020 DG UNOG f

The International Day of Vesak and the 20th anniversary of the adoption of United Nations General Assembly resolution 54/115, which recognized internationally the day of Vesak, was commemorated today at a special virtual commemoration organized by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva together with the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the UN Geneva and the International Buddhist Foundation in Geneva.

7 may 2020 SFR f7 may 2020 Ambassador Thailand f

 The opening remarks were delivered by Director General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, Tatiana Valovaya, while Ven. Ajahn Amaro, Abbot of the Amarawathi Monastery in the United Kingdom delivered the keynote address at this online event which had over 250 virtual participants.

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Modalities to issue temporary travel documents to undocumented workers abroad agreed on

4 may 2020 front

Modalities to issue temporary travel documents to undocumented workers abroad following proper authentication procedures has been agreed on by the Department of Immigration and Emigration. This follows consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations and Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). It is intended to facilitate the repatriation of migrant workers, once the Government decides on a timeline for their repatriation.

This was discussed at a meeting convened today (04 May 2020) by the Minister of Foreign Relations, Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations, Dinesh Gunawardena with the relevant line agencies.

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Special Fund to combat COVID-19

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A ‘COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund’ was set up by the Government of  Sri Lanka on 23rd March 2020 to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak, with a Rs 100 million contribution from the President’s Fund. With direct deposits and donations from organizations and individual donors the Fund’s balance has surpassed Rs. 242 million, today, 31st March 2020. Both local and foreign donors are invited to contribute to the COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.

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Special Announcement for All Sri Lankans Currently Staying in Switzerland

Until the risk of COVID-19 is minimized, the Government of Sri Lanka requests Sri Lankans residing/staying in Switzerland, who wish to return to Sri Lanka to safely remain where they are. Requests to return to Sri Lanka, by Sri Lankans who are currently overseas, will be facilitated after containment of COVID-19 in the country.

31 03 2020 special notice

View in PDF


Permanent Mission of sri Lanka
Geneva

Donations to COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund exempted from taxes

press release pmdnews

Donations to COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund that has been established to strengthen the mitigation activities aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 virus in the country and related social welfare programme, have been exempted from taxes and foreign exchange regulations.

A special account had been opened at the Corporate Branch of the Bank of Ceylon under the account number of 85737373.

Deposits can be made through cheques or telegraphic transfers. Donors are requested to inform the Presidential Secretariat along with the relevant documents about their donations in cash to the Fund.

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Foreign Ministry facilitates outward movement of foreign nationals

20 03 2020 mfa relese


Arrangements are being made for the smooth return of foreign nationals who are presently in Sri Lanka on tourist and other visa categories. This will be done using both regular flight movements operating through Sri Lanka and also charter flights that may be deployed, as the airport remains open for outbound passenger movements.

Modalities to facilitate these movements were discussed today at a meeting chaired by Secretary Foreign Relations, Ravinatha Aryasinha. The meeting was attended by the Ambassadors representing the western hemisphere as well as representatives from the Ministry of Defence, Police Department, Department of Immigration, Airport and Aviation Services, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Civil Aviation and Sri Lankan Airlines.

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Special Notice - Restrictions in the provision of Consular Services

 

covid 19 emergency nos


Emergency contact numbers: Sinhala & English (0041) 77 928 72 81, (0041) 77 922 32 92 Tamil (0041) 77 922 31 31


In the present circumstances of the rapid spread of the Corona virus in Switzerland, the Government of Switzerland has announced strict restrictions covering the entire country. Accordingly, strict regulations have been imposed to minimize public gatherings.

In order to minimize the exposure to the virus and to limit the spread of the virus among Sri Lankans, the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka / Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Geneva, after taking into consideration the present situation, and in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Sri Lanka, has decided to limit the consular services provided to Sri Lankans, commencing from 16.03.2020 until further notice.

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