30 May, 2024


Sri Lanka’s Highest Leadership Lacks Common Vision: UN Human Rights Commissioner

“Sri Lanka’s process of implementing human rights reforms has been delayed due to the ‘a lack of common vision among the country’s highest leadership,'” UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said today.

Michelle Bachelet

Addressing the 40th UNHRC session in Geneva Bachelet said: “A contributing factor to a lack of delays appears to be a lack of common vision among the country’s highest leaderhip, deadlock on important issues is an additon and an avoidable problem with damaging impact on victims currently from all ethnic and religious groups and society as a whole.

“I appreciate the complexity of transitional processes the events leading  to the declaration of state of emergency in March last year and the constitutional crisis in October created a political impairment not conducive to reform measures. Today my office encourages the government to implement the detail and comprehensive strategy for the transitional process with a fixed time line.

“Legislation and the establishment of an indepent and truth reconciliation commission could be an important next step. As a former minister of defence who has worked in the context of a transition I can highligh the importance of security force sectoral reform as part of the transitional justice process. Ths process should include a vetting process to remove officers with questionable HR records. The recent appointment to a senior position in the SL army of Major General Shavindra Silva implicated in alleged serious violations of national humanitarian rights law is a worrying development. There has been minimal progress on accountability.

“My report details the steps taken over a lengthy period to adddress several emblamatic cases and the lack of prgress in setting up  special juidicial mechanism to deal with the worst crimes committed in the 2009 conflct. Complete impunity could risk fuelling communal or inter-ethnic violence and stability. Resoving these cases and bring the paper trails of past crimes to justice is necessary to restore the confidence of victims from all communities.

“Replacement of the prevention of terrorism act has been on the governments agenda for four years and I encourage the completion of this process with measures to strengthen the draft laws to safeguard and oversight elements and to tighten the defintion of the terrorist act which is currently too broad.

“I know with concern that individuals continue to be held under the PTA. I’m also troubled about continuing allegation of torture another human rights violation by security forces including sexual violence. Effective transparent investigation by the government as well as measures to end such practices including the full implemetation of the 2006 recommendation of the committee against torture would be positive.

“Another step in the right direction would be an end to the surveillance of human rights defenders reprisals against them as well as against victims. Im deeply concerned by the calls to reinstate the application of the death penalty after more than 40 years of moratorium. My office highlights the critical role of Sri Lanka’s independent commissions particularly the National Human Rights Commission- respect for their independence and implementation of the commisions recommendations are needed to entrench the rule of law in Sri Lanka. Appropriate cooperation with the HR commision is also essential for the participation of Sri Lankan personnel and the UN peace keeping operation.

“This council continues to have an essential role in accompanying the people and the government of Sri Lanka in their journey towards realising the dignity and human rights of all members of society irrespective of their sex, ethnic origin, or beliefs. In closing, I emphasise that in co-sponsoring resolution 30/1 and 34/1 the government recognise the need to address the past in order to build a future securely grounded in accountability, respect for human rights and the rule of law. For victims of society this need continues.

“There is an opportunity now to leave behind a past of violence and human rights violations through bold determination and leadership at all levels of government.”

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Latest comments

  • 3

    I think one Reason why Sri lanka lacks leadership is that International community in Colombo instruct to say how the country should be Run. both Mahinda Rajapakse and RANIL, MANGALA ran it the way INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY NEEDED. MR was more Pro-china and that is why they do not like MR. Maithripala sirisena was not listening to this woman that is why she is pissed off. but the International community in colombo is behind MS. . The govt knows that TUK-TUKS are not mostly Taxis. But, MANGALA SAMARAWEERA RANIL and UNP want to give loans to get four wheel cars instead of TUK TUKS. Who wants it, the car manufacturers. International community asks to reduce the Fuel prices because if fuel is expensive Car sales won’t be high. Now they want TUK TUK to be taken away and introduce smaller CARS. but the GOVT do not talk about Profits going down because of the high maintenance cost and and rupees spent in order to earn a rupee. It is simply bankrupt the poor in order to make the International community rich. They can earn more money with the TUK-TUK Taxies. Instead they want to introduce Cars which goes the up the cost of the service for the Owner. International community earn because, their cars are sold, Cars need parts. that is how the Sri lankan leaders lack vision. Because our butter flies bend to those human right gods.

    • 0

      Dear JD,
      Most of this I agree with you.

  • 2

    In August 2018, the United Nations nominated Michelle Bachelet, two time elected President of Chile, to succeed Zeid Raad al Hussain as High Commissioner for Human Rights.
    Sri Lankans (formerly Ceylonese) are fully aware that our leaders are from bad teams. One team has created the mindset that ‘defending Sinhala-Buddhism’ is more important than this Human-Rights thingy. The mindset boundary is thin.
    Michelle is being diplomatic in saying “Sri Lanka’s Highest Leadership Lacks Common Vision”.
    The apparent tunnel vision is due to the desire for the rein.

  • 2

    As the saying goes in our sun-drenched island “illang keva” (“we asked to be fed”)

    It takes an observant foreigner to see through our foggy obfuscation. Of course we (especially our politicians) would defend our actions on the grounds that it would be political suicide to betray our local ranaviru heroes (heroes like Putta-putta Shavendra! Cut-Throat Priyanka! et al).

    UNHCR has a long wait on its hands.

    • 0

      Dear Spring Koha,
      Very true.
      Champa, could you please stop repeating yourself, especially when it is on the same blog.

      • 0

        Where did I repeat?
        I am replying to comments where necessary. You should tell others to not repeat their questions/comments. Then I don’t have to reply to same questions again and again. There is no way I miss any comment where a reply is needed.

  • 0

    What USA said about officials of the UNHRC is true. It is a cesspool with corrupt officials!!!
    This is what the UNHCHR says in her report:
    “My report details the steps taken over a lengthy period to adddress several emblamatic cases and the lack of prgress in setting up special juidicial mechanism to deal with the worst crimes committed in the 2009 conflct. Unquote: (Wow, this has lot of spelling mistakes. Did CT retype this?)
    What I wanted to say was, what is this “2009 conflict?”
    Why can’t UNHCHR admit that it was a battle between Sri Lanka Army and LTTE terrorists?
    Then this:-
    “I know with concern that INDIVIDUALS continue to be held under the PTA.” Unquote:
    Individuals? Individuals? UNHRC is funded by LTTE diaspora, that is why they called “LTTE TERRORISTS” who are imprisoned, individuals, as if they are Saints.
    Then again, this:-
    “I’m also troubled about continuing allegation of torture another human rights violation by security forces including sexual violence.” Unquote: (An incomplete sentence.)
    Torture and sexual violence? Against who?
    Not a single Tamil woman in the North accuses our security forces of sexual violence or torture. Instead, Tamil women are happy that LTTE is no longer there to harass them. They are happy that their children are no longer abducted and forcibly recruited to LTTE. They are happy that they can engage in day-to-day activities and travel anywhere without fear. They are happy that they no longer have to hide in jungles. They are happy that they no longer have to starve. They are happy that they can live a peaceful, dignified life, after LTTE was defeated by our Army.
    The unsubstantiated allegations against security forces were only a product of LTTE diaspora and their political proxy, TNA.

    • 3

      “What USA said about officials of the UNHRC is true. It is a cesspool with corrupt officials!!!”
      It is the USA who brought this UNHC resolution against Srilanka. Trump Officials are not USA.
      “Why can’t UNHCHR admit that it was a battle between Sri Lanka Army and LTTE terrorists?”
      Beacuse Srilankan military violated more war crimes and human rights violation. It is not Srilankan military. It is a Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalist Terrorist armed group.
      No one to hear for your bloodthirsty lies.

      • 1

        I said this before.
        Show me any UN Charter, Convention or Treaty that prohibits sovereign countries fighting against terrorists?
        UN should first legalize terrorism, if they want to punish any country for defeating terrorists.
        For your information, the majority of Top Army Intelligence Officials who were killed by LTTE were non-Sinhalese and non-Buddhists!!!! How do you explain that?
        What lies? I am not an LTTE supporter to lie. For 34 years, the Western World suppressed the voice of Sinhalese. Now it is our chance to talk the truth. I can see, you are hurt.

  • 0

    It is time that non – Europeans sat in judgment over the criminal conduct of Europeans. The baton must change hands. Human Rights propagation is basically a one – sided fraud directed at humiliating people of former European colonies. This fraud is allowed to succeed because of the supine leadership of current day leaders of these former European countries particularly in South Asia. Countries that took part in the Inquisition, Holocaust, Genocides of native people all over the world, and rapacious colonialism have no moral right to point fingers at others without making themselves accountable for these crimes against humanity. They have a lot to answer for the past and current misdeeds. UNHRC is a tool of the colonial west.

  • 2


    ” UN should first legalize terrorism, if they want to punish any country for defeating terrorists.”

    Any country has the right to fight terrorist and so with Sri Lanka, but they cannot kill civilians under cover fighting terrorists. They cannot kill surrendered LTTE carders blindfolded in point blank range. They cannot kill LTTE carders who agreed to surrender and complied to the instructions by holding white flags. These is what comprise war crimes not because they fought terrorists.

    True there is no provision in constitution to accommodate foreign judges and they understand and that is why there should be NO war crimes tribunal in Sri Lanka where it was committed but in a foreign country and by judges appointed by the UN with No Sri Lankan judges (as they are interested party and so cannot be independant )

  • 0

    Suggest Ms Bachelet who was the President of Chile read about Human Right situation in Wikipedia before poking her finger into countries affected by terrorist and trying to reconcile. We all remember what Pinochet did.
    The wikipedia states Quote ‘ related to human rights in Chile include discrimination against indigenous populations; societal violence and discrimination against women, children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people; child labor; and harsh prison conditions and treatment. Additional human rights concerns in the country include use of excessive force and abuse by security forces, isolated reports of government corruption, and anti-Semitism. Authorities generally maintain effective control over the security forces. However, security forces occasionally commit human rights abuses. The government generally takes steps to prosecute officials who commit abuses. Nevertheless, many human rights organizations contend that security officials accused of committing abuses have impunity @ Unquote

  • 1

    Madam, we knew that long ago and we are in a “miserable mess” as a result!!!

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