UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has called on the international community to continue to explore possible targeted sanctions against credibly alleged Sri Lankan perpetrators of grave human rights violations and abuses.
She also called on the Sri Lankan Government to publish the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings to ensure transparency for victims and pursue further independent investigations into the involvement of any other state or non-state actors.
Bachelet, yesterday (Friday) published a report on Sri Lanka which will be formally tabled at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva at the 49th Session which begins next week.
“Bachelet recognizes recent steps taken to initiate reforms but expresses deep concern over a number of human rights trends in the country.
While we recognize the renewed willingness of the Government of Sri Lanka to engage constructively with our Office, including in the preparation of the report, we urge the Government to go much further with the legal, institutional and security sector reforms necessary to comply with Sri Lanka’s international human rights obligations,” Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani said.
In the report the High Commissioner reiterated the recommendations made to the Government of Sri Lanka in paragraph 60 of her 2021 report to the Council.
She further recommended the Government to ensure the drafting process for a new Constitution is based on broad and inclusive consultations, and advances the devolution of political authority, which is integral to reconciliation and the full enjoyment of human rights by all members of its population;
“Avoid reliance on the military to run civilian affairs and take steps to reduce the influence of the military on civilian life,” she added.
She also urged the Government to establish a moratorium on the use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act until it is replaced by legislation that fully complies with international human rights norms and standards.
The High Commissioner urged member states to cooperate with victims and their representatives to investigate and prosecute international crimes committed by all parties in Sri Lanka.
These crimes committed through judicial proceedings in domestic jurisdictions, including under accepted principles of extraterritorial or universal jurisdictions and continue to explore possible targeted sanctions against credibly alleged perpetrators of grave human rights violations and abuses.
She also urged member states to review asylum measures with respect to Sri Lankan nationals to protect those facing reprisals and refrain from any renouncement in cases that present real risk of torture or other serious human rights violations.