Sri Lanka

Human Rights Council strengthens rights office probe into Sri Lanka’s long civil war

The United Nations Human Rights Council has been given a mandate to collect and preserve information and evidence of crimes related to Sri Lanka's 37-year long civil war that ended in 2009.

Sri Lanka: ‘Forced’ cremation of COVID victims’ bodies must stop - UN rights experts

The Sri Lankan Government should end its policy of compulsorily cremating victims of COVID-19, independent UN human rights experts said on Monday.

News in Brief 25 January 2021

  • COVID pandemic impact ‘four times worse’ on jobs than 2008 financial crisis
  • Sri Lanka: ‘Forced’ cremation of COVID victims’ bodies must stop 
  • Syrian crisis is still killing children in 2021, constitutional talks resume in Geneva 
Audio -
3'19"

Sri Lankan President calls on WHO to facilitate ‘universal access’ to COVID vaccine

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. 

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”.

Sri Lanka child sex tourism ‘very widespread’, warns UN rights panel 

The scale of Sri Lanka’s child sex tourism industry has reached such worrying proportions that the authorities should take action immediately, UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Thursday, noting that some impoverished parents are being forced to “sell” their children.  In an interview with UN News’s Daniel Johnson, veteran member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Renate Winter, said that the scourge was “very widespread”, particularly in the north of the country. 

 

Audio -
8'42"

Asylum seekers in Sri Lanka fear for their safety, in wake of Easter Sunday terror attacks

Since the suicide bombings in Sri Lanka on April 21, there have been concerns for the safety of refugees and asylum seekers living in the country: in the immediate aftermath, there were reports of refugees being targeted and forced from their homes by angry mobs threatening reprisals for the Easter Sunday attacks which targeted Christian churches, as well as upscale hotels.

UN refugee agency aids nearly 1,000 vulnerable to Sri Lanka reprisal attacks

Following a series of bomb blasts on Easter Sunday that killed over 250 people and injured many more, concerns have remained for the safety of refugees and asylum seekers living in Sri Lanka.

Audio -
7'17"

‘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.