The UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday criticised the erosion of judicial independence, marginalisation of minorities and impunity in Sri Lanka, and urged the UN to ramp up evidence-gathering.
The Geneva-based physique authorised a decision expressing “serious concern” on the scenario.
With 22 international locations voting in favour of the textual content, 11 opposed and 14 abstaining, the 47-member council pointed to “trends emerging over the past year, which represent a clear early warning sign of a deteriorating situation of human rights in Sri Lanka”.
At the beginning of the present council session final month, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena slammed the decision as politically motivated — a sentiment reiterated on Tuesday by the nation’s ambassador.
The textual content, drafted by Britain, Germany, Canada and a number of other different international locations, spotlighted Sri Lanka’s ongoing failure to make sure accountability for atrocities dedicated throughout its civil warfare that led to 2009.
It additionally highlighted “accelerating militarisation of civilian government functions”, “the erosion of the independence of the judiciary”, and “increased marginalisation” of Tamil and Muslim minorities.
The decision expressed explicit concern that the island’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic had “exacerbated the prevailing marginalisation of and discrimination against the Muslim community”.
And it known as on Sri Lanka’s authorities to assessment its Prevention of Terrorism Act, which rights teams have warned is getting used as a weapon focusing on dissidents and minorities within the fractured nation.
Last week, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa introduced new guidelines beneath the act aimed on the “de-radicalisation” of spiritual extremists that permit the detention of anybody suspected of inflicting “acts of violence or religious, racial or communal disharmony”.
Tuesday’s decision additionally criticised “ongoing impunity and political obstruction of accountability” for previous crimes, referring to the hundreds of civilians killed within the last levels of the 37-year separatist warfare that ended a decade in the past.
It cautioned that the developments “threaten to reverse the limited but important gains made in recent years, and risk the recurrence of policies and practices that gave rise to the grave violations of the past.”
The decision known as on the workplace of UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to boost its monitoring and reporting on the scenario of human rights in Sri Lanka, together with on progress in reconciliation and accountability, and to current oral and written experiences to the council on the findings.
In a report earlier this yr, Bachelet had already warned that Rajapaksa’s authorities had reversed advances made beneath earlier administrations, placing the nation on an “alarming path towards recurrence of grave rights violations”.
Rajapaksa received a 2019 presidential election on a nationalist agenda which included a promise that troops who crushed Tamil rebels wouldn’t be prosecuted.
He was the highest defence official when authorities forces defeated the guerrillas in a navy marketing campaign that led to May 2009. His brother Mahinda was president then, and is presently the nation’s prime minister.
At least 100,000 folks had been killed within the warfare and allegations had been made that 40,000 Tamil civilians had been killed within the last onslaught.
Tuesday’s decision stated there had been a “persistent lack of accountability” within the nation itself, and slammed a home fee of inquiry introduced in January for missing independence and the scope to pursue justice for gross violations.
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