US to ‘collaborate’ with Sri Lanka at UNHRC

Updated - November 17, 2021 02:10 am IST

Published - August 27, 2015 04:25 am IST - COLOMBO

The U.S. said on Wednesday said it would offer a resolution on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka at the September session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in collaboration with “the government of Sri Lanka and other key stakeholders, and also in consultation with members of a core group.”

On the findings and recommendations of a report to be submitted by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka, Nisha Biswal, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said her government would work together with Sri Lanka and others in drafting the resolution “that reflects the way forward.” She was speaking to reporters here at the end of her two-day trip to Sri Lanka.

Even as Ms. Biswal pointed out that her government had not gone through the report, another Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski, indicated that working collaboratively didn't mean that “it is going to be easy. There are difficult issues.” Considering the progress that had been achieved [by the Sri Lankan government] in the last few months and the U.S. government through dialogue with the Sri Lankan government, he felt that the outcome would be supportive of “very difficult and courageous choices that are being made by people and the government here.”  

In May, when John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, was here, he had hoped that Sri Lanka would continue to cooperate with the U.N. as “it explores the best way to mount a credible domestic investigation into allegations of human rights abuses – an investigation that meets international standards…”

The Tamil National Alliance leader, R. Sampanthan, said he and other leaders met Ms. Biswal and “had a fruitful discussion which covered the entire gamut of the matter.”

To a query on whether he saw any shift in the stand of the U.S. on the issue of human rights violations, he replied in the negative.

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