In first speech new UN rights chief raises concerns on Sri Lanka

Michele Bachelet, Presidente of Chile speaks during Special Session of the Human Rights Council. 29 March 2017.

In her first speech as the new UN Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet raised concerns on Sri Lanka.

In the opening statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the 39th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva today, Michelle Bachelet said that in Sri Lanka, although the authorities have moved too slowly towards meaningful implementation of the transitional justice agenda, the Office of Missing Persons has now begun consultations and institutional capacity-building to fulfil its mandate.

“We look to that Office to work quickly, to begin to provide answers to the families of the disappeared. Legislation establishing an Office for Reparations is also underway,” she said.

She said that more progress in advancing accountability and truth-seeking could have great weight in the long-term stability and prosperity of the nation.

Bachelet also said that recurrent incidents of racist and inter-communal violence are disturbing, as are announced plans to resume use of the death penalty.

Bachelet recently replaced Zeid Raad Al Hussein of Jordan as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Courtesy: Colombo Gazette