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UN human rights chief calls for 'renewed attention' on Sri Lanka

Accusing Sri Lanka of reneging on its commitments to ensuring peace, Michelle Bachelet, UN High...

👤 H K Badal15 Sep 2020 1:44 PM GMT
UN human rights chief calls for renewed attention on Sri Lanka
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Accusing Sri Lanka of reneging on its commitments to ensuring peace, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on Sept 14 called on the UN Human Rights Council to ensure there was "renewed attention to Sri Lanka".

Bachelet said she was "troubled that the new Government is swiftly reneging on its commitments to the Human Rights Council since it withdrew its support for resolution 30/1".

She made this call while speaking at the opening of the 45th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, warning that Sri Lanka's move is posing "threats to peace, reconciliation and sustainable development".

"Among other developments, the proposed 20th amendment to the Constitution may negatively impact on the independence of key institutions, including the National Human Rights Commission," she added.

Her address comes after Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa threatened to withdraw his government from global bodies if they continue with their attempts to prosecute Sri Lankan soldiers for war crimes.

"The pardon given in March to a former Army sergeant convicted of participating in unlawful killings; appointments to key civilian roles of senior military officials allegedly involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity; and moves within the police and judiciary to thwart the investigation of such crimes, set a very negative trend. The surveillance and intimidation of victims, their families, human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers should cease immediately," Bachelet added.

The High Commissioner in her speech called upon the Council "to give renewed attention to Sri Lanka, in view of the need to prevent threats to peace, reconciliation and sustainable development".