UN rights chief accuses government; SL rejects report

UN rights chief accuses government; SL rejects report

UN rights chief accuses government; SL rejects report

Written by Staff Writer

24 Feb, 2021 | 10:58 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has accused the government of failing to “pursue genuine truth-seeking and accountability processes” just as the previous administration.

“…the system’s, structures, policies and personnel that gave rise to such grave violations in the past remain and have been recently reinforced,” Bachelet said during the 46th UN Human Rights Council sessions.

She made these remarks during an interactive dialogue on the report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday.

The UN human rights chief also lashed out at the 20th amendment passed recently, citing that it has tarnished the independence of the judiciary, the human rights commission and, the national police commission.

“The policy of forced cremation of covid-19 victims has caused pain and distress to the minority Muslim and Christian communities,” Bachelet observed.

She also noted that commissions appointed by the government have failed to credibly establish and ensure accountability.

“The latest commission of inquiry appointed in January 2021 to review the findings of previous commissions promises to repeat the cycle without meaningful result,” Bachelet insisted.

However, foreign minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that Sri Lanka rejects the report of the UN human rights chief.

“Sri Lanka rejects High Commissioner’s report which has unjustifiably broadened its scope and mandated further incorporating many issues of governance and matters that are essentially domestic for any self-respecting sovereign country,” he said.

The minister also lamented that the human rights chief had refused to publish remarks made by the government as an addendum in the report.

“Sri Lanka calls upon the members of this council that any resolution that is based on this report be rejected by this council and be brought to a closure,” he urged.

The UN Core Group on Sri Lanka has said it would table a resolution against the country at the ongoing UN Human Rights Council sessions.

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