The 48th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is scheduled to commence tomorrow and on an opening day, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet will make an oral statement on the progress of human rights in Sri Lanka. It is reported that in this statement she is going to make progress or weaknesses on the manner in which Sri Lanka has acted in the past in accordance with the human rights resolution passed against Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Sessions held last February.
Sources say the High Commissioner for Human Rights hopes to confirm the conclusions reached in her previous report on February 21 regarding the status of human rights in Sri Lanka. According to diplomatic sources, she hopes to further confirm that the situation of human rights, the rule of law, freedom and democracy in Sri Lanka is deteriorating from March to August. She is particularly concerned about the significant increase in deaths in police custody during that period, and that Sri Lanka has not made any progress on the accountability for international human rights and humanitarian law violations since the war.
The High Commissioner Bachelet is expected to announce on the new panel of experts to look into Sri Lanka, as mandated by Human Rights Resolution 46/1, adopted on March 23, 2021, which will enable it to add a powerful new accountability process, Geneva sources said.
However, Sri Lanka has also sent a 14-page report to the diplomats of each of the UN Human Rights Council member states on the process of Sri Lanka’s transition and progress on human rights, through which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken steps. Sessions will be held in virtual.