Respect human rights while fighting terror

The United States has said that while applying improved safety mechanisms to protect Sri Lanka’s citizens from new threats, it is imperative that the Sri Lankan government do so in ways that also protect rule of law and that do not infringe upon the human rights of individuals or groups, or limit their ability to worship, communicate and to live together in peace.

The US Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Alaina Teplitz, stated in her call for unity on April 25: “These terrible attacks are the work of a few individuals and not of an entire community. Sri Lankans of all backgrounds and faiths have come together to condemn these atrocities. Unity is the most powerful answer to terrorism.”

Ambassador Teplitz further underscored that “while we work together to bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice, we must remain vigilant in defending the democratic ideals that form the pillars of a strong society. And we must do so without destroying communities of peaceful, innocent people who share the faith of the attackers, but not their warped ideology. We must always respect the wonderful diversity of Sri Lanka and fortify the culture of unity that the country needs to thrive.”

Short Term Collaboration

On Saturday, the US said: “At the request of the Sri Lankan Government, U.S. experts are already working closely with their Sri Lankan partners on fulfilling short term, specific objectives related to the recent attacks and to bringing the perpetrators to justice. This cooperation does not indicate a larger, long term presence of US security teams in the country,” a press release from the US embassy said.

“As Sri Lanka looks to the future and to implementing changes in security and communications procedures to prevent future atrocities, the United States stands ready to assist with lessons learned from our own past tragedies and through our ongoing cooperation with local authorities.”

The US statement follows a warning by an opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardene that the US may post its troop in Sri Lanka in the guise of helping Colombo fight Islamic terror.

When asked about the possibility of US stationing troops in Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena said that no foreign troops would be allowed to be deployed and that Sri Lanka would only seek cooperation in intelligence. (newsin.asia)

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