Commenting on the UN Human Rights Council’s decision to set up an investigation into human rights violations in Sri Lanka, US Secretary of State John Kerry in a Press Releases issued on 27 March 2014 said the UN Human Rights Council Vote on Sri Lanka Reconciliation has emphasised the importance of justice and accountability for a lasting peace on the island.
Today’s vote in the UN Human Rights Council sends a clear message: The time to pursue lasting peace and prosperity is now; justice and accountability cannot wait.
This resolution reaffirms the commitment of the international community to support the Government of Sri Lanka as it pursues reconciliation and respect for human rights and democratic governance. That’s why the resolution requests that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights continues monitoring the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. That’s why it calls on the Office to conduct an investigation into allegations of serious human rights abuses and related crimes during Sri Lanka’s civil war. And that’s why the United States will continue speak out in defense of the fundamental freedoms that all Sri Lankans should enjoy.
We are deeply concerned by recent actions against some of Sri Lanka’s citizens, including detentions and harassment of civil society activists. Further reprisals against these brave defenders of human rights and the dignity of all Sri Lankan citizens would elicit grave concern from the international community.
The Sri Lankan people are resilient. They have demonstrated grit and determination through years of war. Now, they are demanding democracy and prosperity in years of peace. They deserve that chance.
The United States stands with all the people of Sri Lanka. We are committed to helping them realize a future in which all Sri Lankans can share in their country’s success.