UNHRC session begins; Sri Lankan issue to be noted

The 42st session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) began in Geneva today during which issues related to Sri Lanka will be noted.

While Sri Lanka is not on the agenda, concerns over missing people and the appointment of the new Army Commander will be noted at the session.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet delivered the opening speech at the session today but did not make any reference to Sri Lanka.

In her speech she spoke of concerns related to several countries including China, the United States and Russia.

She also said that her office continues to receive reports on the human rights situation on both sides of the line of control in Kashmiri.

“I am deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions by the Government of India on the human rights of Kashmiris, including restrictions on internet communications and peaceful assembly, and the detention of local political leaders and activists,” she said.

She also appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews; to ensure people’s access to basic services; and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained.

“It is important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future,” she said.

Bachelet said that the recent National Register of Citizens verification process in the northeast Indian state of Assam has caused great uncertainty and anxiety, with some 1.9 million people excluded from the final list published on 31 August.

She appealed to the Government to ensure due process during the appeals process, prevent deportation or detention, and ensure people are protected from statelessness. (Colombo Gazette)

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