The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned the escalating violence in Sri Lanka, which is witnessing a severe economic crisis, and called on the authorities to prevent further unrest.
In a statement today, Bachelet also called on the authorities to ensure that measures adopted in a state of emergency comply with international human rights standards and are not used to silence dissenting voices.
"I am deeply troubled by the escalation of violence in Sri Lanka after supporters of the prime minister attacked peaceful protesters in Colombo yesterday May 9 and the subsequent mob violence against members of the ruling party," Bachelet said.
"I condemn all violence and call on the authorities to independently, thoroughly and transparently investigate all attacks that have occurred. It is crucial to ensure that those found responsible, including those inciting or organizing violence, are held to account," She added.
The violence came in conjunction with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's announcement of his resignation on Monday, as thousands of demonstrators stormed his official headquarters in the capital, Colombo, while the police fired tear gas and warning shots to contain the protests, which resulted in the injury of dozens of people.
Despite the government's resignation and the continuation of the state of emergency in the country and the curfew imposed in the capital (Colombo), popular protests are still continuing against the deteriorating economic situation due to lack of food and fuel, power outages, high inflation and debt.
The economic crisis - the worst since the country's independence in 1948 - erupted after the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic led to a significant decrease in tourism revenues and remittances from expatriates.
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