Sri Lanka’s progress towards reform has “virtually ground to a halt” and brutal torture is used with impunity, the UN concludes in a scathing report on the country’s human rights record.
The report, which comes three years after the country appeared to have turned a corner in its history by electing a new coalition government, is published on Monday following a UN visit to Sri Lanka at the request of the government. “None of the measures so far adopted to fulfil Sri Lanka’s transitional justice commitments are adequate to ensure real progress,” it says.
Ben Emmerson QC, the UN rapporteur on countering terrorism, met most senior members of the government, military judiciary and prison staff – including inside high security Anuradhapura prison.
Sri Lanka suffered three decades of civil war as Tamil fighters fought for a separate state, culminating in 2015 in the election of a national unity government.