Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan authorities must work ‘vigorously’ to ease simmering ethno-religious tensions, urges UN rights expert

A United Nations human rights expert warned on Monday that Sri Lankan authorities must take urgent action to strengthen respect for freedom of religion or belief and address simmering ethno-religious tensions. 

Appointment of alleged war criminal to head of Sri Lanka army ‘deeply troubling’, says UN human rights chief

The appointment of Sri Lankan Lieutenant-General Shavendra Silva as Commander of the country’s army is deeply troubling, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in a statement released on Monday, adding that the military leader had been given the role despite “serious allegations of gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law against him and his troops during the war”.

‘Hateful attacks’ pushing Sri Lanka backwards, UN advisers warn, urging an end to ‘discriminatory practices’ that feed intolerance

Growing instances of religious-based violence in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka have prompted two United Nations Special Advisers to call for an end to “hateful attacks” directed towards the country’s Muslim minority.

UN, world leaders, condemn Sri Lanka terrorist attacks targeting churches, hotels, which leave more than 200 dead

More than 200 have been killed and hundreds injured by a series of explosions inside churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, as Christians gathered for services to celebrate Easter. In a statement, UN chief António Guterres said he was "outraged by the terror attacks" and called for the perpetrators to be "swiftly brought to justice".

Venezuela: ‘A worrying destabilizing factor in the region’, Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Expressing deep concern at the “magnitude and gravity of the human rights impact” of Venezuela’s current crisis, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Wednesday that the country had become “a worrying destabilizing factor in the region.”

‘Exercise restraint’ Guterres urges Sri Lankans, as political crisis deepens

United Nations chief António Guterres said on Sunday he was following Sri Lanka’s deepening political crisis with “great concern”, after a man was killed allegedly by a politician’s bodyguard, who reportedly fired on a crowd of demonstrators.

Transfer of power essential to strengthen democracy, Sri Lankan President tells UN Assembly

Noting that history is marked with leaders who have sought to consolidate power within themselves, the President of Sri Lanka today underscored that as leaders come into power, they must yield it to build democratic institutions and safeguard democracies.

UN rights expert warns torture routinely used against Sri Lankan security suspects

Concluding a five-day visit to Sri Lanka, a United Nations independent human right expert today noted “routine and endemic” use of torture against people detained on national security grounds.

Sri Lanka's food gap widens in wake of regional floods and drought, UN agencies warn

An extreme drought followed by floods has affected large swathes of cropland in Sri Lanka, United Nations agencies reported today, warning that the disaster threatens the food security of some 900,000 people.

UN and partners in Sri Lanka appeal for resources as receding floods reveal extent of damage

Following last month's severe flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka that impacted some 630,000 people, the United Nations and humanitarian partners today launched an urgent appeal for more resources to reach those in the worst-hit parts of the country with urgent assistance.