US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall, speaking at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday said,” We have learned that rigorous and systematic fact finding can also play a critical role in helping countries heal wounds from periods of conflict. Without such a process, grievances go unaddressed and impunity is allowed to triumph, creating a climate in which new abuses occur. In 2012, and again this year, this council urged the government of Sri Lanka to launch an independent investigation into the deaths of thousands of civilians during that country’s terrible civil war. To date, the government has refused. Accordingly, the United States has introduced a resolution this year calling upon the Office of the High Commissioner to conduct an investigation into past abuses and to examine more recent attacks on journalists, human rights defenders, and religious minorities.”
In their opening address to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Denmark backed calls for an international mechanism to investigate human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
Under-secretary of state for Legal Affairs Jonas Liisberg said to the council,
“We note with serious concern the recent report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka. We support the High Commissioner’s call for an international inquiry mechanism to further investigate the alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.”