Colombo: The UN Human Rights Council approved a mandate to collect information and evidence of war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s 37-year-long civil war in which thousands of civilians killed.
The 47-member council also adopted a resolution to address the “accelerating militarization of civilian government functions” in Sri Lanka, “the erosion of the independence of the judiciary”, and “increased marginalization” of Tamil and Muslim minorities.
The council pointed to “trends emerging over the past year, which represent a clear early warning sign of a deteriorating situation of human rights in Sri Lanka,” adding it was “seriously concerned.”
The resolution called on the office of UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to strengthen monitoring and reporting mechanisms on the country’s human rights situation, including ongoing failure to ensure reconciliation and accountability for atrocities committed during the separatist war that ended in 2009.
The resolution, proposed by the UK, Germany, Canada and other core countries, gives Bachelet and her team more power to investigate Sri Lanka with a view to future prosecutions.
The vote was 22 countries in favor, with 11 against, including China and Pakistan, and 14 abstentions including India.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that his country will not succumb to any pressure in response to a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution
In a statement released by his office, Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka will face the challenge without fear and that it will not succumb to pressure.