Sri Lanka faces a devastating economic crisis, a UN report said, citing impunity for past and present human rights abuses, economic crimes and corruption as the root cause of the island nation’s collapse. ing.
The report, prepared by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet, was released on Tuesday and also proposes fundamental changes to address current challenges and avoid repeating past human rights abuses.
Interestingly, this comes ahead of the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which will be held in Geneva from 12 September to 7 October, when a resolution on Sri Lanka will be tabled.
It is also the first time that the highest UN agency has linked the economic crisis to serious human rights violations in Sri Lanka.
For sustainable improvement, it is essential to recognize and support Sri Lanka in addressing the underlying factors that have contributed to this crisis, including impunity for past and current human rights violations, economic crimes and corruption. is, says the report.
Widespread demands for accountability and democratic reform by Sri Lankans from all communities provided an important starting point for a new shared vision for the future, it said.
Fundamental changes will be needed to address current challenges and avoid repeating past human rights abuses, the report says.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948. This crisis was caused by a severe shortage of foreign exchange reserves.
Last week, the IMF announced it would provide nearly US$2.9 billion in loans to Sri Lanka over four years under a preliminary agreement to help the bankrupt island nation weather its worst economic crisis and protect people’s livelihoods. .
The UN report called on the government, led by Ranil Wickremesinghe, to immediately end its reliance on strict security laws and crack down on peaceful protests, reverse the trend toward militarization, reform the security sector and promote impunity. He showed renewed commitment to an end and called for it to be realized.
Wickremesinghe imposed a state of emergency in July after his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country and resigned following mass anti-government protests over the government’s mishandling of the economy.
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said earlier this week that Sri Lanka will oppose new resolutions on human rights accountability, particularly external investigation mechanisms, at the UN Human Rights Council meeting.
Sabry said Sri Lanka has adopted policies involving rights accountability bilaterally and multilaterally and is seeking lasting solutions.
The draft resolution on Sri Lanka is due to be submitted on 23 September.
This will be followed by a vote among Member States on the new draft resolution on 6 October.
Since 2013, UN human rights agencies have accused both government forces and the LTTE group of war crimes of carrying out a violent campaign to create separate states for minority Tamils in the northern and eastern regions. Adopted a resolution calling for accountability of rights.
Former President Gotabaya Rajapakse then brutally ended Sri Lanka’s nearly 30-year civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), killing its supreme leader Belpilai Prabhakaran in 2009.
The former defense secretary, who has been accused of human rights abuses, vehemently denies the charges.
On May 18, 2009, Gotabaya’s brother, then-President Mahinda Rajapakse, announced that more than 100,000 people had died and millions of Sri Lankans, mostly Tamil minorities, had been displaced. Declared the end of 26 years of war. country and abroad.
Another resolution launched in 2015, co-sponsored by Sri Lanka, establishes a credible judicial process with the participation of federal and other foreign judges, defense counsel, and licensed prosecutors and investigators. I asked the country to
However, Sri Lanka has consistently opposed this idea.
In a 2021 resolution, the UN rights body rejected the domestic mechanism proposed by the then Gotabaya Rajapaksa government.
The 2021 resolution was adopted by Sri Lanka, which includes China, with 22 votes and 11 in favor.
14 abstained, including India.
(Only the headlines and photos in this report may have been modified by Business Standard staff. The rest of the content is auto-generated from syndicated feeds.)