A top UN official has condemned the recent attacks on Muslims in Sri Lanka, calling on the island nation's government to bring the perpetrators of the communal violence and hate speech to justice.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman concluded a three-day visit to Sri Lanka on March 11. His trip was planned as part of the ongoing strong engagement between the government of Sri Lanka and the world body.
According to a statement issued by the world body, the Under-Secretary-General condemned the breakdown in law and order and the attacks against Muslims and their properties, offering condolences to those affected.
"In that context, he met with Muslim political and civil society leaders to express concern and show solidarity," the statement said.
Feltman urged swift and full implementation of the Sri Lankan government's "commitment to bring the perpetrators of the violence and hate speech to justice, to take measures to prevent recurrence, and to enforce non-discriminatory rule of law."
Recently, a Muslim-owned restaurant was attacked in the north western province, a day after President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a commission to probe a spate of anti-Muslim riots in the violence-hit Kandy district that prompted him to impose a nationwide state of emergency.
During his visit, Feltman met with Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, as well as other political leaders and cabinet and government officials.
Noting the recent appointment of Commissioners, Feltman expressed hope that the Office of Missing Persons will soon be fully operational to "help answer questions that haunt too many families from all across Sri Lanka about their missing loved ones."
He also commended the Parliament's recent adoption of the Bill for the Protection Against Enforced Disappearances as an important element of the Sri Lankan government's commitment to its citizens.
He underscored the importance of accelerating momentum on other initiatives, including regarding the constitution, truth and reconciliation, reparations, and counter-terrorism, in line with the Government's promise to strengthen the country's democratic principles and practices.
He, however, expressed concern that many elements of the government's visionary 2015 program seem stalled, despite their importance to sustainable peace, security and prosperity in Sri Lanka, and he appreciated the reassurances from government leaders of their intention to move forward.
The UN official also encouraged the government to communicate their actions and timelines for reforms to the Sri Lankan people.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)