International Institute for Religious Freedom

IIRF Reports 2012/4

Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka


14th session of the UPR Working Group

Sri Lanka is a pluralistic society made up of diverse ethnic, religious and cultural communities. Sri Lanka also is emerging from a period of over 30 years of internal con ict which polarized society. Hence there is a critical need to maintain an equitable balance in ensuring the fundamental human rights of all citizens while restoring normalcy and pursuing peace and security.

This report focuses in particular on the freedom of thought, conscience and religion and in a wider context on other rights violated by a culture of impunity and the absence of the rule of law.

Certain policies, procedures and actions adopted by government agencies including local government agencies have directly alienated and discriminated against a segment of society who fall within the minority Christians who are not members of the traditional protestant church. This is a community already beleaguered by violent attacks. Denial by government agencies to acknowledge their legitimate existence has resulted in the violation of their right to enjoy all the human rights enumerated within the freedom of religion or belief as enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and wider democratic freedoms.

In the general sphere of human rights, there prevails among the civilian population a sense of fear and insecurity. A high number of abductions and enforced disappearances of civilians prevails and remains unsolved.

The issues addressed in this report constitute infringements of basic human rights standards set down in the Sri Lankan Constitution as well as international standards.