UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Urges that International Monitors Be Deployed in Sri Lanka

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, called for international human rights monitors to be deployed in Sri Lanka. Her demand was prompted by the worsening human rights situation, including a massacre of 11 Muslim men in the country’s east for which the government and Tamil rebels have blamed each other. Arbour pointed out that the mandate of the existing Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, staffed by Nordic countries, is limited to investigations of violations of the 2002 cease-fire, excluding human rights abuses. Nearly 2,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the beginning of the year, and disappearances, abductions, and killings have once more become a dreaded reality. Human Rights Watch called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to dispatch “a mission of inquiry into recent massacres and other atrocities.” Like Louise Arbour, Human Rights Watch called for a human rights monitoring mission.