The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, raised concerns on Sri Lanka during the opening day of the 47th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday (Monday).
She said she was concerned by further Government measures perceived as targeting Muslims, and by the harassment of Tamils, including in the context of commemoration events for those who died at the end of the war.
Bachelet said she was also concerned that recent appointments to the Office of Missing Persons and Office for Reparations, and steps to discourage investigations into past crimes, are further undermining victims’ trust.
“Recent counter-terrorism regulations – which include the listing and/or prohibition of more than 300 Tamil and Muslim groups and individuals for alleged support of terrorism – will also not advance reconciliation,” she added.
Bachelet said regulations now permit the arbitrary administrative detention of people for up to two years, without trial for the purposes of de-radicalisation.
The High Commissioner also noted a continuing series of deaths in Police custody and in the context of Police encounters with alleged criminal gangs.
“A thorough, prompt and independent investigation should be conducted. We will continue to engage with the Government, and I will update the Council further at the September session, including on progress in implementing the new accountability mandate,” she added.
At the last Session the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka over its human rights situation. (Colombo Gazette)