Michelle Bachelet, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, has called on the authorities in Sri Lanka to prevent further violence, and urged restraint and meaningful dialogue to address the grievances of the population.
She said: “I am deeply troubled by the escalation of violence in Sri Lanka after supporters of the Prime Minister attacked peaceful protestors in Colombo yesterday 9 May and the subsequent mob violence against members of the ruling party.
“Authorities, including military personnel deployed in support of security forces, should exercise restraint in policing the situation and ensure that measures adopted in the context of the state of emergency comply with international human rights norms and are not used to stifle dissent or hinder peaceful protest.
“I urge the Sri Lankan Government to engage in meaningful dialogue with all parts of society to find a pathway forward and address the socio-economic challenges people, especially vulnerable and marginalized groups, are facing.
“I call on the Government to address the broader political and systemic root causes that have long perpetuated discrimination and undermined human rights.”