Human Rights Council should continue to pursue international strategies for accountability – Bachelet

In a report, Michelle Bachelet said human rights violations and abuses were continuing to spread throughout the country. She attributed that to the failure of the government to carry out necessary reforms to its legal, institutional and security sectors.

The Sri Lankan state, including successive governments, has consistently failed to prosecute international crimes and serious human rights violations and pursue an effective transitional justice process. The current Government has continued to demonstrate its unwillingness to recognise those serious international crimes and pursue accountability but has also incorporated some military officials who may have been implicated in alleged war crimes into the highest levels of Government, reinforcing a narrative of impunity. In the absence of tangible results that ensure justice for victims, the Human Rights Council should continue to pursue international strategies for accountability.

The summary of the report says:

The present written update is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 46/1. OHCHR presents its observations on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and continuing challenges for advancing reconciliation, accountability and human rights.

It focusses on developments since the High Commissioner’s last report on Sri Lanka in February 2021, including the broader trends identified at that time. The report also includes an update on steps taken to implement the accountability-related aspects of resolution 46/1.

The High Commissioner remains concerned about the continued lack of accountability for past human rights violations and recognition of victims’ rights in Sri Lanka, particularly those stemming from the conflict that ended in 2009. She highlights continuing trends towards militarization and ethnoreligious nationalism that undermine democratic institutions, increase the anxiety of minorities, and impede reconciliation.

At the same time, the High Commissioner recognizes the recent signs of renewed openness of the Government in engaging with OHCHR and the initial steps taken to initiate some reforms. The High Commissioner believes however that a comprehensive vision for a genuine reconciliation and accountability process is urgently needed, as well as deeper institutional and security sector reforms that will end impunity and prevent the recurrence of violations of the past.

See the full report below:

A_HRC_49_9_AdvanceUneditedVersion

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