The President of Sri Lanka has highlighted the success of his country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, underscoring the importance of a well-coordinated approach, underpinned by robust local health care system, to contain the disease.
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.
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”.
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.
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".
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.”
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.
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.