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* It's time for International Action on Sri Lanka, UK tells Human Rights Council
Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 09:45 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 03, Geneva: The Government of Sri Lanka has failed to ensure independent and credible investigations into alleged violations of human rights and abuses committed by both the government forces and the Tamil Tiger terrorists during the armed conflict and therefore it is time for international action on the island nation, the UK told the United Nations Human Rights Council today in Geneva.

Addressing the High Level segment of the 25th session of UNHRC Monday, Hugo Swire, the UK Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said the report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka is unambiguous.

He said the majority of the recommendations from successive HRC resolutions remain unimplemented and the government has not accepted offers of technical assistance from the UN.

"The time has now clearly come for international action with regard to Sri Lanka," Swire said.

He said the UNHRC has a duty to act on findings of the report collectively commissioned and to establish the truth.

"If we fail to do so where does that leave us?" he asked the Council.

Swire expressed hope that the Council can unite to support the call for an independent investigation alleged human rights violations and abuses on both sides which would pave the way for lasting reconciliation.

Swire said the support and technical assistance of the Office of the High Commissioner and the collective concern expressed in the resolutions of the UNHRC have a valuable role to play in ensuring progress towards lasting peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Dimitris Kourkoulas, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece speaking on behalf of the High Representative of the European Union Catherine Ashton said it is vital that the full thruth of past events is made known and accountability be pursued for this is the only way to foster stability.

"Facing our past is a vital component of ensuring a stable and peaceful future," the Greek Minister said.

He said the EU has re-started a dialogue with Sri Lanka after four years and is hopeful that it can facilitate real reform to the situation on the ground alongside accountability for past crimes.

The Sri Lankan government has vehemently rejected the call by the US, UK, Canada and other western nations for an international investigation into the alleged human rights violations saying that the domestic mechanism is sufficient to address the accountability and other issues.

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