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* Significant improvements in Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict - EU
Tue, Dec 10, 2013, 01:49 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 10, Colombo: The European Union today acknowledged that there have been significant improvements in Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict, particularly on resettlement and physical reconstruction while challenges remain in several areas.

In a statement issued to commemorate the World Human Rights Day, the European Union (EU) Delegation in Colombo said the funding from EU and its Member States has supported progress on de-mining and the construction of new houses, helping the people displaced at the end of the war to return to their homes.

The EU Heads of Mission in Sri Lanka welcomed the Northern Provincial Council elections and encouraged the Government to take further action to implement the recommendations in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report in order to ensure justice and meaningful reconciliation.

"Further challenges also remain in upholding the independence and effectiveness of the judiciary and the rule of law, strengthening freedom of expression, taking effective action to end religious intolerance and preventing sexual abuse of women and children," the EU statement said.

The delegation welcomed the visits by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Envoy on Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and encouraged the Sri Lankan government to extend further invitations to facilitate outstanding visit requests by other UN special mandate holders, including the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

The Delegation encouraged the Sri Lankan authorities to engage in dialogue with, and draw on the support of, international partners who may be able to assist in the remaining challenging tasks.

The EU said it continues to stand ready to offer assistance for the Sri Lankan government to address and overcome these challenges in order to help build a better and brighter future for all Sri Lankans.

The EU delegation 's full statement can be found here

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