Colombo, Sept 13 (AdaDerana) – The United States says it is committed to supporting the Sri Lankan people and welcomed UN Human Rights Council’s efforts to advance accountability, reconciliation, and respect for human rights in Sri Lanka.
Delivering a statement during the Interactive Dialogue on Sri Lanka at the 51st Session of the UNHRC in Geneva on Monday, U.S. Ambassador Michèle Taylor urged respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including rights to peaceful assembly and expression.
“The United States is committed to supporting the Sri Lankan people in their efforts to strengthen their democracy. We recognize the profound economic and political challenges the country is facing, and we welcome the government’s efforts at reform,” she said.
The rule of law, equal access to justice, independent institutions, transparency, and accountability are pillars of democratic systems, Ambassador Michèle Taylor said.
She said the U.S. values the UNHRC’s attention to and engagement on Sri Lanka, including the OHCHR’s recent report and its efforts to help survivors and the families of missing persons.
“We urge respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including rights to peaceful assembly and expression. We call for accountability for protest-related violence in line with rule of law and equal access to justice.”
The U.S. Permanent Representative to the UNHRC said it is essential that the Prevention of Terrorism Act align with international human rights obligations and commitments, to protect fair trial guarantees and other applicable legal protections.
As a key step toward improved human rights, it is also important to address longstanding impunity and corruption in Sri Lanka, she said.
“We will continue to support justice, accountability, and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.”