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  • » 09/02/2013, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    For UN high commissioner, Sri Lanka is moving towards authoritarianism

    Melani Manel Perera

    United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay expressed this concern at the end of an official visit to the country. Although the government allowed her to move freely, priests and activists have reported threats against them. The UN official also met with relatives of people who disappeared.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) - Visiting United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navanetham Pillay said at the end of her official visit that there were signs of Sri Lanka becoming an authoritarian state.

    At a press conference last Saturday, the Sri Lankan-born official said that the Sri Lankan Government stuck to its commitment of allowing her to visit any part of the country she wanted, which she did. However, "I am deeply concerned," she said, "that Sri Lanka, despite the opportunity provided by the end of the war to construct a new, vibrant, all-embracing state is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction."

    In fact, "With self-censorship fuelled by fear, journalists report that there are articles they dare not write, and others their editors dare not print." In addition, she said that she was disturbed by reports of intimidation and surveillance on rights activists and priests who met her.

    Speaking about the reconstruction in some northeastern areas of the country, the most affected by the civil war, Pillay said that "physical reconstruction alone will not bring reconciliation, dignity, or lasting peace."

    Last Saturday evening, the high commissioner also took part in a memorial service for missing persons, which was attended by more than 500 people (pictured)whose loved ones are still not accounted for.

    Speaking about them, Pillay said, "the pain and despair experienced by their families and loved ones is like no other. [...]for you, waiting all these years to be reunited with or learn the true fate of a loved one means, the agony continues day after day after day. "

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    See also

    27/08/2013 SRI LANKA
    Navi Pillay in Sri Lanka to vet human rights violations
    The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is in Colombo at the start of a five-day visit. She plans to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and make short trips to the country's hotspots.

    20/04/2010 UNITED NATIONS – GULF
    UN calls on Gulf States to respect the rights of women and immigrants
    According to UN human rights chief, it is time for region to overhaul local legal framework. Current laws discriminate against women, who are prevented from making choices about themselves and their country, and against immigrants who are at the mercy of employers.

    20/11/2017 15:10:00 UNITED NATIONS – SRI LANKA
    Sri Lanka accepts 177 recommendations made by United Nations Human Rights Council

    At the Universal Periodic Review at the UN headquarters in Geneva, the head of the Sri Lankan delegation asks for patience with respect to the implementation of reforms. Critics exert pressure on issues like the people who went missing during the civil war, the return of seized lands, and the release and compensation for those unjustly accused of terrorism. Human Rights Watch also calls for action in matters of sexual orientation and gender identity.



    16/10/2007 SRI LANKA – UNITED NATIONS
    UN finds human rights situation in Sri Lanka ‘alarming’
    In her recent visit the UN Commissioner for Human Rights called for observers to monitor abuses on the island. Minister Samarasinghe rejects the demand and claims government commission doing an adequate job. However, four of its members quit yesterday complaining about its uselessness.

    10/11/2008 CHINA
    China announces “action plan” on human rights
    A group of experts should draft a charter of rights over the next two years to protect human rights. Many experts fear it might just be a propaganda ploy, urge the authorities to take concrete steps to show its good will.



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