UN Human Rights Chief raises concerns regarding Sri Lanka

Michelle Bachelet

In an advanced version of a report on Sri Lanka presented to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva ahead of its 43rd session, United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has raised concerns regarding the island nation.

The 43rd session of the UNHRC is scheduled to be conducted from 24 February-20 March.

Bachelet stated that Sri Lanka has made some progress since 2015 in promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in line with resolution 30/1, however, emphasized that the inability of the Government to deal comprehensively with impunity and to reform institutions may cause the recurrence of human rights violations.

The High Commissioner is concerned by various signs indicating a possible reversal of past commitments by the Government which would setback the promotion of reconciliation, accountability and human rights, reduce civic space and erode important institutional safeguards.

The overall goals of resolution 30/1 must be protected and built upon to provide justice and redress to victims, guarantee the non-recurrence of past patterns of human rights violations, and promote peaceful, inclusive and sustainable development, Bachelet noted.

The High Commissioner encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to fully implement resolution 30/1 and continue to engage positively with OHCHR and United Nations human rights mechanisms to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights as critical elements for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

She also urged the Human Rights Council to sustain its close monitoring of and engagement on developments in Sri Lanka.

(Source: Ada Derana)