On March 21, 2019, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted Resolution 40/L.1, granting the Government of Sri Lanka yet another extension by two years to fully implement commitments contained in Resolution 30/1 in full.

Resolution 30/1 directed the Sri Lankan government, amongst other things, to “establish a judicial mechanism with a special counsel to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, as applicable; affirms that a credible justice process should include independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for their integrity and impartiality; and also affirms in this regard the importance of participation in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including the special counsel’s office, of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators.”

The full discussion on Sri Lanka that took place on March 20, 2019, including statements by Canada and Germany, can be viewed here.

Two key reports on Sri Lanka were also tabled during this session:

  • Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka: Read more…
  • Report of the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, on his visit to Sri Lanka: Read more…

The 40th session also saw wide-spread but ultimately unsuccessful protests in the Tamil homeland by civil society, families of the disappeared, and students demanding justice through an international mechanism for genocide and urging the UNHRC to not grant any further extension to Sri Lanka.