20A may negatively impact on independence of institutions- UNHR Chief

September 14, 2020

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that the proposed 20th amendment to the Constitution may negatively impact on the independence of key institutions, including the National Human Rights Commission.

While delivering the opening statement of the 45th session of the Human Rights Council on Monday, Ms. Bachelet said she was troubled that the new Government of Sri Lanka is swiftly reneging on its commitments to the Human Rights Council since it withdrew its support for resolution 30/1.

Among other developments, she said the proposed 20th amendment to the Constitution may negatively impact on the independence of key institutions, including the National Human Rights Commission.

Ms. Bachelet said the pardon given in March to a former Army sergeant convicted of participating in unlawful killings; appointments to key civilian roles of senior military officials allegedly involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity; and moves within the police and judiciary to thwart the investigation of such crimes, set a very negative trend.

“The surveillance and intimidation of victims, their families, human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers should cease immediately. I encourage the Council to give renewed attention to Sri Lanka, in view of the need to prevent threats to peace, reconciliation and sustainable development,” she said.

© 2019 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd