UN Human Rights Office Gets Mandate to Document Sri Lanka War Crimes | Sri Lanka News
The resolution received 22 votes in favor and 11 against, including China and Pakistan, and 14 abstentions, including India.
The UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution giving UN Chief Human Rights Officer Michelle Bachelet the mandate to collect and preserve information and evidence of war crimes committed during the long civil war in Sri Lanka, which ended in 2009.
The erosion of judicial independence, the marginalization of minorities and impunity in Sri Lanka were criticized in the resolution, which received 22 votes in favor, 11 against, including China and Pakistan, and 14 abstentions, including India.
The resolution, which was introduced by the UK on behalf of a select group of countries, expressed particular concern that the island’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has “exacerbated marginalization and current discrimination against the Muslim community ”.
He also highlighted “the acceleration of the militarization of civilian government functions”, “the erosion of the independence of the judiciary” and “the increased marginalization” of Tamil and Muslim minorities.
Last month, Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that 12 years after the armed conflict ended in the South Asian island nation, efforts to ensure justice for victims have failed.
“Despite the commitments made in 2015, the current government, like its predecessor, has failed to pursue any real truth-seeking or accountability process,” she said.
“The impact on thousands of survivors, from all communities, is devastating. Moreover, the systems, structures, policies and personnel that gave rise to such serious violations in the past remain – and have recently been strengthened. “
The decades-long civil war between Sri Lankan security forces and the separatist Tamil Tigers killed around 100,000 people, including up to 40,000 Tamil civilians killed by Sri Lankan forces in the final stages of the war . The government denied the accusation.
UN reports have accused Sri Lankan troops of bombing hospitals and indiscriminate aerial bombardments, executing rebels who surrendered and causing the disappearance of thousands of minority Tamils.