In a statement presented at the 53rd session of the Human Rights Council, Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed concern over Sri Lanka’s rejection of certain aspects of the Council’s resolutions pertaining to accountability. However, he noted that the Sri Lankan government has continued to engage with the UN’s presence on the ground.
Over the past decade, Sri Lanka has welcomed a dozen visits by mandate-holders, indicating a willingness to cooperate with international bodies regarding human rights matters. Türk urged the authorities in Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations put forth by these mandate-holders, emphasizing the importance of addressing human rights concerns.
While the rejection of some resolutions related to accountability is regrettable, the ongoing engagement between the Sri Lankan government and the UN signifies a willingness to address and improve the human rights situation in the country. The visits by mandate-holders provide an opportunity for dialogue, exchange of information, and collaboration in finding solutions to address human rights challenges.
The UN High Commissioner’s statement serves as a call to action for the Sri Lankan authorities, urging them to consider implementing the recommendations put forward by the mandate-holders. By doing so, Sri Lanka can demonstrate its commitment to upholding human rights standards and fostering a culture of accountability.
It remains to be seen how Sri Lanka will respond to these recommendations and navigate its human rights obligations, as continued engagement and implementation of suggested measures are crucial steps towards ensuring a just and rights-respecting society in the country.