Oct 02, Washington, DC: The United States said Tuesday that it welcomed the report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Sri Lanka .
In a release on "Key U.S. Outcomes at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) 24th Session", the Department of State said the U.S. "echoed the High Commissioner's concerns, in particular regarding restrictions on freedom of expression, attacks on human rights defenders and journalists, and interference with the judiciary."
Presenting the report on Sri Lanka entitled "Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka" through her Deputy Ms. Flavia Pansieri, the High Commissioner said there was no new or comprehensive effort by Sri Lanka to independently or credibly investigate the allegations which have been of concern to the Human Rights Council.
The United States said it also noted the High Commissioner's assessment that, in the absence of a meaningful progress on post-conflict accountability, calls for an international inquiry will persist.
Pillay in her oral reports asked the Sri Lankan Government to use the time between now and March 2014 to engage in a "credible national process with tangible results" to prosecute the individual right violators.
The UN Rights Chief said she believes that in the absence of any progress the international community will have a duty to establish its own inquiry mechanisms.
Expressing strong discontentment to the "disproportionate attention paid to Sri Lanka, largely at the behest of parties with vested interests", Sri Lanka strongly refuted the High Commissioner's view that "the human rights situation in Sri Lanka remains critically important".
Sri Lanka said it is not a situation that requires the urgent and immediate attention of the Council.
"Sri Lanka needs to be encouraged, not impeded," Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said in response to Pillay's report.
According to the U.S. the outcomes of the 24th Session of the UNHRC underscored the importance of robust U.S. engagement at the Council, where the United States continues to work with a diverse range of countries from all regions to address urgent human rights concerns.
"As a member of the Council, our mission remains to emphasize key human rights issues and vigorously oppose efforts to shield human rights violators," the U.S. emphasized.