UN asks Sri Lanka to tackle economic crisis, prosecute corruption | United Nations News

The United Nations Human Rights Council has called on Sri Lanka to take control Economic Crisis and prosecute corrupt acts by public officials.

In a resolution passed at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Thursday, the global body also renewed its mandate to collect and preserve evidence of wartime human rights crimes in Sri Lanka, despite objections from Colombo and its allies, including China.

The 19-point resolution was introduced by 37 countries including the UK, Canada and the United States and was passed with 20 votes in favor and 7 against.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said his country “definitively” rejected the result of the vote and said the resolution “was introduced without our consent, despite our efforts”. to engage with key sponsors”.

Before the vote, Sabry had directly brought up Sri Lanka’s case for a “no” vote in Geneva.

“We strongly oppose the draft resolution on domestic, economic and financial policy issues,” he said.

“Solutions to the economic and financial crises facing many countries today will not be found in the mandate, tools or expertise of this council.”

China, a close ally of Sri Lanka, voted against the resolution, which it called an example of the “politicization” of human rights issues. Pakistan called the resolution “intrusive”.

Sri Lanka’s neighbor India, which extended financial support the most during the island’s financial crisis this year, abstained.

The resolution calls on the government to investigate and prosecute former and current public officials who caused the country’s worst financial crisis in more than seven decades, which plunged 22 million people into poverty. Inflation skyrocketed, currency depreciated, and food and fuel shortages were severe.

It also renews the mandate of the United Nations rights office to observe Sri Lanka’s progress in establishing a credible investigation into alleged war crimes in civil war ended in 2009 and promoted the demilitarization of its northern and eastern regions.

It requires the UN rights office to prepare a comprehensive report for release by 2024, essentially giving Sri Lanka two more years to meet its obligations.

Minelle Fernandez of Al Jazeera, reporting from Colombo, said Sri Lanka opposes paragraph 8 of the resolution, which strengthens the mechanism for recording and gathering evidence against Sri Lankan officials for use in proceedings. juridical.

“This, Sri Lanka and its allies say, goes beyond the founding principles of the United Nations,” she said.

The vote followed a report by the United Nations High Commissioner published in September, which addressed the underlying causes of the financial crisis, “including punishment for human rights violations”. rights and economic crimes” of officials.

Amnesty International welcomed the UN resolution but said more work needed to be done.

“The adoption of the UN Human Rights Council resolution reflects the need for continued international monitoring of Sri Lanka,” said Deputy Regional Director for South Asia, Dinushika Dissanayake.

Court allows proceedings against Rajapaksas

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Friday allowed proceedings against former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, according to Transparency International, the human rights group that filed the lawsuit against him.

The group said the court also agreed to allow proceedings against his brother, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa.

The total number of participants in the proceedings will be 39, including two of the country’s former central bank governors. The case calls for accountability from the island’s leadership for the financial crisis.

President Rajapaksa left Sri Lanka in the early hours of July 13 after Demonstration engulfed Colombo and protesters angry with the country’s economic devastation stormed his official residence and office.

He resigned a few days later and return return at the beginning of September.

Sri Lanka’s population has suffered from severe shortages of food, fuel and medicine along with hyperinflation and prolonged power outages since late last year.

This island has run out of foreign exchange and default into a $51 billion foreign debt in April. It has since been negotiating a bailout with the International Monetary Fund.

New President Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken a hard line against the protesters and even used tough anti-terrorism laws to arrest some of them.


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