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* U.S. calls on Sri Lanka to end reprisals against human rights defenders
Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 12:25 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 07, Washington, DC: The United States Friday reiterating its call for the Sri Lankan government to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee report said it is concerned by the continuing reprisals against human rights defenders.

Responding to a question at the Daily Press Briefing, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said the U.S. continues to be concerned about ongoing issues regarding restrictions on freedom of the press and expression, the erosion of the rule of law, and violence against religious minorities.

"And we also note with concern that human rights defenders have continued to face reprisals. Obviously, this is something that needs to end," Harf said.

When asked about the Sri Lankan government's statement that Sri Lanka needs more time for reconciliation, the spokesperson said the U.S. has long urged the government to fulfill its commitments.

"The U.S. has long urged the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its public commitments, to implement the recommendations of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee report, and to develop credible justice mechanisms to address outstanding allegations concerning serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law."

Recently, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, during his visit to Colombo to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), issued a warning that UK will do whatever in its power at the next session of the United Nations Human Rights Council if Sri Lanka fails to conduct a credible, transparent, and independent investigation into the alleged human right violations by March 2014.

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