46th UNHRC sessions to begin today

ECONOMYNEXT – The 46th sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will commence in Geneva, Switzerland, today, where a resolution on Sri Lanka is expected to be taken up soon.

The core group on Sri Lanka led by the United Kingdom has drawn up a ‘zero’ draft resolution which reportedly borrows much from a damning report compiled by UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michel Bachelet.

Besides the UK, the Sri Lanka core group comprises Germany, Canada, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Malawi.

In addition to concerns raised with regard to accountability vis-à-vis alleged gross human rights violations during the last phase of Sri Lanka’s war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), Bachelet’s report also reportedly highlights the issue of cremating the bodies of those who succumb to COVID-19, alleged militarisation of civilian government functions, arbitrary detention and alleged surveillance and intimidation of civil society activists, among other allegations.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena will speak at the sessions this Wednesday (24) through a digital video link. Efforts are under way, it is learnt, to secure the support of friendly nations, with talks expected to place with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka for an official two-day visit. (Colombo/Feb22/2021)

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