News

UN Human Rights Chief seeks sanctions against Sri Lankan military officials; report

The UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has called for an International Criminal Court investigation into Sri Lanka’s Tamil separatist conflict and sanctions on military officials accused of war crimes, France24 reported quoting a report obtained by AFP.

Bachelet has accused Sri Lanka of reneging on promises to ensure justice for thousands of civilians killed in the final stages of the 37-year separatist war that ended a decade ago.

“Domestic initiatives for accountability and reconciliation have repeatedly failed to produce results, more deeply entrenching impunity, and exacerbating victims’ distrust in the system,” she said in the report obtained ahead of its official release.

The government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has reversed some advances made under previous administrations in protecting human rights, the report said.

Surveillance of rights activists and dissidents has increased and a climate of self-censorship has emerged, it added.

UN reports have accused Sri Lankan troops of shelling hospitals and indiscriminate aerial bombardments, executing surrendering rebels and causing the disappearance of thousands of minority Tamils.