The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is right

Saturday, 19 September 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Taylor Dibbert

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is right to be quite concerned about the state of affairs in Sri Lanka, ‘Sri Lanka responds to UN Human Rights Chief’s ‘unwarranted and pre-judgmental’ concerns’. 

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his allies are taking the country down a dangerous path and there are no signs that negative trends pertaining to authoritarianism, the rule of law and human rights (among other worries) will be allayed anytime soon. 

More specifically, the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution is obviously a disaster that will, at best, greatly undermine what’s left of the country’s majoritarian democracy.

The space for dissent has already shrunk significantly over the past 10 months. The country’s institutions are militarised like never before. Concerns about Sri Lanka will continue to grow in the coming months. 

It’s imperative that international actors like Bachelet keep the pressure on and speak openly and frankly about what’s actually happening. Quite clearly, the situation will get worse before it gets better.

Taylor Dibbert