UN rights chief urges immediate moratorium on Sri Lanka’s use of PTA

Sep 13, 2021 09:00 pm    Views: 24

UN rights chief urges immediate moratorium on Sri Lanka’s use of PTA

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet today called for “concrete actions” by the Government of Sri Lanka on accountability and institutional reform.

Delivering the Oral Update on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka during the 48th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, the High Commissioner acknowledged the inputs sent by the Government in preparation for this update. 

She also noted the President’s statement in June that the Government is “committed to work with the UN to ensure accountability” and will implement “necessary institutional reforms.” 

“I look forward to seeing concrete actions to this effect – in line with the recommendations that have been made in our reports and by various human rights mechanisms – and my Office stands ready to engage,” Michelle Bachelet said.

She also encouraged the swift and public release of the reports of the national Commission of Inquiry that was appointed in January 2021, which will complete its mandate by the end of this year, so that its work and recommendations can be assessed.

The UN Human Rights Chief said the current social, economic and governance challenges faced by Sri Lanka indicate the corrosive impact that militarisation and the lack of accountability continue to have on fundamental rights, civic space, democratic institutions, social cohesion and sustainable development.

A new state of emergency was declared in Sri Lanka on 30 August, with the stated aim of ensuring food security and price controls, amid deepening recession. “The emergency regulations are very broad and may further expand the role of the military in civilian functions.” 

“The Office will be closely monitoring their application,” she stressed.

Noting with interest the President’s recent meeting with some civil society leaders, the high commissioner encouraged broader dialogue and steps to open Sri Lanka’s civic space.

“Regrettably, surveillance, intimidation and judicial harassment of human rights defenders, journalists and families of the disappeared has not only continued, but has broadened to a wider spectrum of students, academics, medical professionals and religious leaders critical of government policies.” 

She charged that several peaceful protests and commemorations have been met with excessive use of force and the arrest or detention of demonstrators in quarantine centres.

“New regulations on civil society groups are being drafted, and it is widely feared that they will further tighten restrictions on fundamental freedoms.” The high commissioner urged that the draft be made public to allow the broadest possible discussion.

Bachelet also expressed concerns regarding developments in judicial proceedings in a number of emblematic human rights cases.  They include the Attorney General’s decision not to proceed with charges against former Navy commander Wasantha Karannagoda in the case of the enforced disappearances of 11 men in 2008 and 2009.  
Despite various inquiries, the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings in 2019 and religious leaders continue to call urgently for truth and justice, and a full account of the circumstances that permitted those attacks, she pointed out.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the President’s recent pardon of a former member of parliament, Duminda Silva, who was convicted for killing a politician in 2011, also “risks eroding confidence in the rule of law and judicial process.”

“I am deeply concerned about further deaths in police custody, and in the context of police encounters with alleged drug criminal gangs, as well as continuing reports of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement officials.”

In June, 16 prisoners who had been convicted under the problematic Prevention of Terrorism Act, and who were nearing the end of their sentences, were pardoned. “An Advisory Board has been established to which detainees under the Act can apply for their cases to be reviewed, and I urge a speedy resolution to these long-standing cases.” 

The Government has reaffirmed its intention to revisit the Act and established a Cabinet sub-committee for this purpose, she emphasized. 

“However, I am deeply concerned about the continued use of the Act to arrest and detain people.  Lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah has now been detained for 16 months under the Act without credible evidence presented before a court. Likewise, Ahnaf Jazeem, a teacher and poet, has been detained without charge since May 2020.”  

The High Commissioner urged an immediate moratorium on the use of the Act, and that a clear timeline be set for its comprehensive review or repeal.

She also noted that last month, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions decided to initiate a special review of the national Human Rights Commission to determine its compliance with the Paris Principles, indicating its concerns about the appointment process of the Commission and its effectiveness in discharging its human rights mandate.

Against this backdrop, she said her Office’s work to implement the accountability-related aspects of Resolution 46/1 has begun, pending recruitment of a start-up team.  

“We have developed an information and evidence repository with nearly 120,000 individual items already held by the UN, and we will initiate as much information-gathering as possible this year.” 

Bachelet urged Member States to ensure the budget process provides the necessary support so that her Office can fully implement this work.

“I encourage Council members to continue paying close attention to developments in Sri Lanka, and to seek credible progress in advancing reconciliation, accountability and human rights.”

Click to read full statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet...

English News

No need to panic over ‘fake email’ received by airport authorities – Defence Secretary

Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defence says there is NO need for the public to panic over the ‘fake email’ received by country’s

Views: 8    Sep 17, 2021     

Quarantine curfew extended until Oct. 01

The quarantine curfew currently in effect across the island has been extended until 4.00 a.m. on October 01 (Friday),

Views: 8    Sep 17, 2021     

Enough petroleum resources in Mannar to settle country’s foreign debt – Gammanpila

Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila says that Sri Lanka has enough petroleum resources in Mannar to sort out the country’s

Views: 14    Sep 16, 2021     

Sri Lanka confirms another 132 coronavirus deaths

The Director General of Health Services has confirmed another 132 Covid-19 related deaths for September 14, increasing the

Views: 14    Sep 15, 2021     


Getting into superhero shape

After a long wait, The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in full swing. Both Black Widow and Shang-Chi have arrived in theaters

Views: 6237    Sep 11, 2021     

K-POP stars Sri Lanka

Under the category of best K-POP Dance Performance, Island Stompers, Lachimolala, Riya Pathirana and Mandira Hippola

Views: 6241    Sep 09, 2021     

Bolywod News

Nayanthara in SRK’s next project

Atlee in the industry.

Views: 6227    Sep 09, 2021     

Britney Spears’ father asks for conservatorship to end

Jamie Spears, the father of Britney Spears, on Tuesday asked a Los Angeles court to end the pop singer’s 13-year conservatorship

Views: 6235    Sep 09, 2021     

Sinhala News

ksfrdaOdhk we¢ß kS;sh Tlaf;daïn¾ 01 fjksod bj;a lsÍfï ie,iqula

mj;sk ;;a;ajh ie,ls,a,g .ksñka Tlaf;dan¾ 01 jkod ksfrdaOdhk we¢ß kS;sh bj;a lsÍug rch ie,iqï lr we;s nj

Views: 1    Sep 17, 2021     

ksfrdaOdhk we¢ß kS;sh ueo yegka k.rfha iqrdie,a újD; flf¾

ksfrdaOdhk weÈß ks;sh mkjd ;sìhÈ rgìu u;ameka wf,úie,a újD; lsßug ^17& Èk miajrefõ wjir ,ndÿka

Views: 0    Sep 17, 2021     

f,dydka r;aj;af;a g tfrys meñKs,a, ms<sn|j fmd,siam;sg Wmfoia

je,slv iy wkqrdOmqr nkaOkd.drj, we;sjq isÿùï iïnkaOfhka rdcH wud;H f,dydka r;aj;af;a uy;dg tfrysj

Views: 8    Sep 17, 2021     

kdrdfyakamsg frday,a fndaïn isoaêhg foaYmd,{fhl=;a .Efjhs

kdrdfyakamsg m%foaYfha fm!oa.,sl frday,l§ w;afndaïnhla fidhd .ekSfï isoaêfha úu¾Ykj,g wod<j ;j;a mqoa.

Views: 9    Sep 17, 2021     

ksfrdaOdhk we¢ß kS;sh §¾> flf¾

fldúâ jHdma;sh md,kh lsÍu i|yd mkjd we;s ksfrdaOdhk we¢ß kS;sh §¾> lsÍug ckdêm;s f.daGdNh rdcmlaI

Views: 18    Sep 17, 2021     

mdial= m%ydrhg iïnkaO bn%dysïf.a mjq,g wh;a ;U l¾udka; Yd,dj mjrd .kakjd ) weu;s úu,a ùrjxY

rdcika;l lr we;s ,mdial= bßod wudkqIsl l%shdoduhg, iïnkaO jQ ~bn%dysï mjq,g~ wh;a ;U lïy," wud;H uKav,

Views: 11    Sep 17, 2021     

Sport News

wdndOhg ,la jQ l=i,a cks;a .ek ;SrKhla .kS

ol=Kq wm%sldj iu. mej;s 3 jk iy wjika mkaÿjdr úiai ;r.fha§ wdndOhlg ,la jQ l=i,a cks;a fmf¾rd iïnkaOfhka

Views: 8    Sep 16, 2021     

T20 mrdcfhka miq ms;slrejka .ek oiqkaf.ka m%ldYhla

Y%S ,xld ms;slrejka úiaihs 20 ;r.j,§ óg jvd úYajdikShj iy j.lSï iy.;j l%Svd l<hq;= nj Y%S ,xld l%slÜ

Views: 15    Sep 15, 2021     

ol=Kq wm%sldjg myiq chla

Y%S ,xldj iu. mej;s fojeks úiaihs úiai cd;Hka;r ;rÛh myiqfjka ch .ekSug ixpdrl ol=Kq wm%sldkq

Views: 25    Sep 13, 2021     


ið;a g tfrysj wkqrf.ka oeä m%ldYhla

uqo,a wud;H neis,a rdcmlaI uy;df.a fhdackdjla u; flrj,msáh n,d.drfha whs;sh wfußldkq iud.ulg ,nd§ug leìkÜ

Views: 22    Sep 13, 2021     

ið;a msf<a 10 la h<s UNPhg @

ið;a msf<a 10 la h<s UNPhg @ we;=¿ lKska fldkska úfYaIdx.fha my;ska '

Views: 6228    Sep 10, 2021     

ckm;s iy rks,a w;r yuqjla miajrefõ

tlai;a cd;sl mlaIfha kdhl ysgmq w.%dud;H rks,a úl%uisxy uy;d wo ckdêm;s f.daGdNh rdcmlaI

Views: 6209    Aug 17, 2021     


Getting into superhero shape

After a long wait, The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in full swing. Both Black Widow and Shang-Chi have arrived in theaters

Sep 11, 2021     

K-POP stars Sri Lanka

Under the category of best K-POP Dance Performance, Island Stompers, Lachimolala, Riya Pathirana and Mandira Hippola

Sep 09, 2021     

Wearing less makeup for ‘Cinderella’ was scary

Singer Camila Cabello says she found it “scary” wearing a lot less makeup for her titular role in the new ‘Cinderella’.

Sep 09, 2021     

Short story

'''ch Y%S kjd;ek'''~ ;dkdhïm,a,df.a igyk

Tn;=udg u;l we;s óg udi yh y;lg WvÈ''' Èjhsfka iqm‍%lg wf,ú ióla‍IK wdh;khl ;reK .eyekq <uhs lKavdhula fï

Views: 6210    Dec 27, 2020     

t,a,kak o udj@

tal fjkak neß jevla fka ms‍%hdks''' ldf.;a ie,ß wod, tljqkaÜia j,g jeá,d kï Thdf. ú;rla fkdjeá ;sfhkak úÈhla kEfka''

Views: 6212    Dec 10, 2020     

iqj| bj lrk idxldj ßÿula

fïÔú; ld,h ;=<È wm úúOdldr jQ w;aoelSï ,nd we;af;uq' we;eï w;aoelSï i;=g b;sßlr we;' we;eï w;aoelSï

Views: 6210    Jan 12, 2020     


m;a;r f.dvlska weÛ jyf.k" ksrEmsldjla lrmq wÆ;a f*dfgdaIQÜ tl nqlsh le<UQ yeá fukak

2014 jif¾ isg ksrEmk lafIa;%fha kshef,k uOQ l=,;=x. uE; ld,fha ksrEmsldjka w;r álla lEmS fmkqKd'

Views: 36    Sep 16, 2021     

uf.a r;a;rka Thdg mska" uf.a fndakslals Thd wfma f,daflag weú;a wog yßhgu wjqreÿ 2hs

mqxÑ ÈhKshf.a WmkaÈkhod p;=ßld mSßia uqyqKq fmdf;a oeuQ wdor”h igyk fukak
“Thd ;uhs wmamÉÑf.hs

Views: 63    Sep 16, 2021     

wdorKsh ieñhd tlal oñ;d wfír;ak Wmka Èkh ieurE yeá

iskudj jf.au mqxÑ ;srh rx.kfhka fmdaIKh l< oñ;d wfír;ak miq.sh 14 jeksod 46 jeks Wmka Èkh ieurejd'

Views: 50    Sep 16, 2021     

uf.a fm!oa.,sl;ajhg oeä f,i ydks isÿfj,d'

 lsref<a w¾nqoh ksid rgu l;d l<" mqIamsld o is,ajd yÈisfhau uqyqKq fmdf;a ixfõ§ fjhs

Views: 96    Sep 15, 2021