SL govt. has  still not answered basic demands for accountability  – John Kerry

SL govt. has still not answered basic demands for accountability – John Kerry

SL govt. has still not answered basic demands for accountability – John Kerry

Written by Bella Dalima

28 Feb, 2014 | 6:22 pm

US Secretary of State, John Kerry says that the Sri Lankan government still has not answered basic demands for accountability and reconciliation.

He made this statement while presenting the US State Departments Annual Country Reports on Human Rights in Washington DC, on Thursday.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry expressed these views:

” And so, the United States of America will continue to speak out, without a hint of arrogance or apology, on behalf of people who stand up for their universal rights. We will do it in Sri Lanka, where the government still has not answered basic demands for accountability and reconciliation, where attacks on civil society activists, journalists, and religious minorities, sadly, still continue. Our concern about this ongoing situation has led the United States to support another UN Human Rights Council resolution at the March session”

He added; “We will do so because we know countries that deny human rights and human dignity, challenge our interests as well as human interests. But we also know countries that advance those values, those countries that embrace these rights, are countries that actually create opportunities.”

The US State Departments Annual Report on Human Rights in Sri Lanka cites, the major human rights problems as being attacks on, and harassment of, civil society activists, journalists, and persons viewed as sympathizers of the LTTE terrorist organization by individuals allegedly tied to the government, creating an environment of fear and self-censorship.

The report also cites involuntary disappearances and a lack of accountability for thousands who disappeared in previous years; and widespread impunity for a broad range of alleged human rights abuses, particularly torture by police and attacks on media institutions and the judiciary.

The report notes that while disappearances and killings continued to diminish in comparison with the immediate postwar period attacks, harassment, and threats against critics of the government were prevalent.

The report cites lack of government transparency and widespread government corruption as serious concerns.

The State Department says that government officials and others tied to the ruling coalition enjoy a high degree of impunity.

The report says that the government prosecuted a very small number of government and military officials implicated in human rights abuses and had yet to hold anyone accountable for alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law that occurred during the conflict that ended in 2009.

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