Sri Lanka and six other countries (Belarus, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Venezuela) support China to ward off a call to allow a UN Human Rights chief access to its far western region of Xinjiang to investigate the detention of Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic group.
The issue came up before the current 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council where over 40 countries made the request. These countries include the UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United States.
China has continuously denied mistreating the Uighurs, who were once a majority in their ancestral homeland until waves of ethnic Han Chinese began to migrate there with the support of the state. Beijing has denied all allegations of abuse of Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims and said the camps are vocational skills training centres that are necessary to combat “religious extremism”.