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17 November, 2015 11:06 AM Source: Financial Times - Sri Lanka
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Brussels: The European Council yesterday welcomed the significant advances made by Sri Lanka since the presidential elections held in January 2015 to restore democratic governance, initiate a process of national reconciliation and re-engage with the international community and the United Nations (UN) system.
Issuing a statement, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Council at its meeting on 16 November in Brussels said the European Union and its Member States actively support the new reform-oriented dynamism in Sri Lanka in order to overcome underlying causes of the past conflict.
The Council concluded that there are now new opportunities for the EU to engage with the Government in making further progress on reconciliation, strengthening good governance and tackling corruption, promoting respect for human rights and the rule of law, and fostering inclusive economic growth and sustainable development, while continuing work to reduce poverty and addressing global issues such as climate change and sustainable development.
“In this spirit, they will review their respective assistance programs to support these objectives, including ensuring coordination with other donors,” the European Council said.
Welcoming the resolution, “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka,” adopted at the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as a crucial step towards a credible transitional justice process in the country, the Council commended the Government for sponsoring and the main Tamil National Alliance for supporting the resolution.
The Council encouraged Sri Lanka to take early steps to build the confidence of communities, including releasing the identity of the detainees and accelerating their prosecution or release, repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act, calibrating the military presence according to identified security needs and returning land sequestered by the military to its rightful owners.

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