Geneva - UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday condemned the escalating violence in Sri Lanka amid the severe economic and political crisis and urged the authorities to prevent further unrest.

She urged restraint and meaningful dialogue to address the grievances of the population, after deadly clashes in the worst violence in weeks of protests.

“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 in a statement. “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 organising violence, are held to account.”

The former Chilean president called on the Colombo authorities to protect the right to peaceful assembly.