Mar 27, Washington, DC: The United States said today the vote in the UN Human Rights Council to adopt the resolution it sponsored sends a clear message to Sri Lanka that time to pursue lasting peace and prosperity is now and "justice and accountability cannot wait".
The Secretary of the State John Kerry in a statement said the U.S. will continue to speak out in defense of the fundamental freedoms that all Sri Lankans should enjoy.
The Secretary said the 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."
The 47-member UNHRC adopted the US-led resolution HRC25 "Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka" Thursday by a majority of 11 votes with 23 countries voting in favor and 12 against while 12 countries abstained from voting.
Kerry said the U.S. is 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," he warned.
"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," he further said.
"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," Kerry added.
Sri Lanka rejected the "unethical and intrusive" resolution as a conspiracy plotted by interested parties seeking a regime change.