US Under Secretary of State Maria Otero told the UNHRC session in Geneva today, that the international community has waited nearly three years for action by Sri Lanka and ‘time is slipping away’ for them.
“We know from experience that there can be no lasting peace without reconciliation and accountability, but the United States is concerned that, in Sri Lanka, time is slipping away. The international community has waited nearly three years for action, and while we welcome the release of the LLRC report, the recommendations of the report should be implemented. We have engaged Sri Lanka bilaterally on these issues since the conflict ended in 2009, and stand ready to continue to work with them. Action now in this Council will sow the seeds of lasting peace on the ground,” Ms Otero said.
She also said that “as States increase pressure on rights and freedoms online, the United States must reiterate that the universal freedoms of expression, assembly and association are as applicable on the Internet and mobile technologies as they are to traditional modes of expression. We are concerned that some States are using new technologies to block content and suppress political dissent, and we encourage States to fulfill their human rights commitments and obligations in the context of new technologies.”
“The Council has done a great deal to focus on pressing human rights situations but there are still challenges to address. The United States was disappointed that the Human Rights Council review process did not address the unfair singling out of one country for a permanent agenda item. The Council will improve its credibility when it eliminates Item 7 and addresses all states under a common rubric.”
“Human rights have universal application. All governments, including mine, must respect the human rights of individuals, protect the ability of individuals to exercise their rights, and create mechanisms for transparent and accountable governance. As we participate in this session and seek a second term on the Human Rights Council, the United States will continue to bridge differences and build consensus with all members. We believe the Council continues to make a significant impact on the world, and we look forward to being a part of its ongoing progress.”