U.S. Alarmed by Peaceful Protestors’ Detention

us embassy 2     The US Embassy in Colombo, issuing a press release, has faulted the government for preventing hundreds of people from the north from heading to Colombo today to take part in a demonstration calling for information about their disappeared family members,

The Embassy called on the Sri Lankan authorities to allow free movement of these citizens as the right to freely express opinions is universal and protected under Sri Lankan and international law.

      Press Release   March 6, 2013

The U.S. Embassy is concerned about reports that hundreds of Sri Lankan family members of the disappeared were blocked in Vavuniya by the Sri Lankan authorities while traveling to Colombo.  These family members are calling for information about their missing loved ones.  The Embassy calls upon Sri Lankan authorities to allow free movement of these citizens.  The right to freely express opinions is universal and protected under Sri Lankan and international law.

The United States is constructively working with international partners to support these basic freedoms through the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution in Geneva.  We continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to follow through on its own commitments to its people by implementing recommendations made in their Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Report.  The LLRC recommends thorough investigations into disappearances as well an establishment of a mechanism to address cases of the missing and detained.  Since last year’s UNHRC resolution the United States has grown increasingly concerned by the lack of progress on these issues, as well as backsliding on other important areas of fundamental democratic rights.  All Sri Lankans should enjoy the same rights and live in dignity, sharing a democratic, secure, and prosperous future.

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