Competitive elections in SL despite authoritarianism: US

2 May 2014 10:22 am - 4     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In a positive note towards Sri Lanka, the United States on Wednesday said despite a strong trend towards ‘authoritarian consolidation’ at the national level, Sri Lanka continued to hold competitive local elections.

“While the bulk of the displaced populations have returned to their communities or nearby regions in the former conflict areas of the North and East, post-conflict issues such as gender-based violence threaten the social fabric of the country,” said Denise Rollins the Acting Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Asia (USAID) in her testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

Ms. Rollins said the USAID’s democracy and vulnerable populations programmes in Sri Lanka would continue to focus on reconciliation and the defence of civil liberties to ensure that the US remains engaged in a positive, visible way to expand and protect the space available for civil society and those advocating freedom of speech and human rights.

Meanwhile, Nisha Biswal the US Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, making her statement before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, said the US continued to support reconciliation efforts and the protection of human rights.

“At the March 2014 sessions of the UN Human Rights Council, the United States led a third consecutive resolution on Sri Lanka, which highlighted yet again the need for the government to take credible steps towards reconciliation and accountability following the end of the civil war,” she said.

Ms. Biswal said while US military cooperation is increasingly limited by human rights concerns and allegations of violations and other abuses emanating from the conflict, US programming focuses on promoting democracy, human rights and good governance, including the outreach to the majority Sinhalese population to help create a sustainable peace.

“Following the March UN Human Rights Council resolution in Sri Lanka, we continue to call for credible efforts to ensure accountability and justice. Our programmes support the ethnic and religious minority communities through economic assistance, civil society strengthening, and access to justice,” she said. “Reconciliation requires engagement with both majority and minority populations, so we are also stepping up our outreach to the Sinhalese community to help Sri Lanka create a durable peace.”

Commenting on the military ties between the two nations, Ms. Biswal said the US looked forward to a resumption of a more comprehensive military relationship once the Sri Lankan Government makes better progress towards reconciliation and accountability.
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  • ryan Friday, 02 May 2014 10:37 AM

    Authoritarian consolidation is utter lies of Navi Pillay, and truth is genuine elections, and navi can not fool all the people all the time.

    Chandapala Saturday, 03 May 2014 05:19 PM

    Competitive elections. Yes. They have competitive elections in Uzbekistan Turkmenistan Kazakhstan Zimbabwe etc. Winner gets more than 90% of the votes. Even Saddam Hussain got 99%. But are they free and fair. No. Madam get your facts clear. via DM iPad app

    The citizen Friday, 02 May 2014 03:58 PM

    Madam, First you must do a course in "computer gilmarts"

    Lokka Friday, 02 May 2014 02:00 PM

    Sri Lanka has a better democracy that many so-called democracies around the world.


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