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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2555

Kerry talks of probe by Navi Pillay office on Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage - Asian Tribune US National Correspondent
Washington, D.C. 28 March (Asiantribune.com):

The Government of the United States which took two steps forward with its Stars and Stripes Flag in hand to subject Sri Lanka to a global investigative mechanism took a step back to settle for Navy Pillay's office to engage in an internal probe on Sri Lanka's human rights situation as depicted by the statement issued by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mr. Kerry issued a statement no sooner the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka was adopted with a divided vote at the UN Human Rights Commission session in Geneva on Thursday.

Mr. Kerry said "the resolution requests that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights continues monitoring the human rights situation in Sri Lanka".

The secretary when he was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a report in December 2009 urging the US State Department and Obama White House to engage Sri Lanka because of its strategic location without emphasizing continually on rights and other issues. The Kerry-Lugar Senate report said that the United States cannot afford to lose Sri Lanka.

Mr. Kerry who is now heading the State Department seems to walking on a tight rope to bring Sri Lanka back to its orbit in releasing a carefully worded statement.

Here is the full text of Mr. Kerry statement:

(Begin Text) Today’s vote in the UN Human Rights Council sends a clear message: the time to pursue lasting peace and prosperity is now; justice and accountability cannot wait.

This 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.

We are 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.

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.

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. (End Text)

- Asian Tribune -

US Secretary of State John Kerry.
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