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Kerry says US keen on resolution

2014 Mar 01

US Secretary of State John Kerry says the US is keen on the resolution on Sri Lanka to be presented at the March session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Kerry made the comment after releasing the annual human rights report for 2013 by the US State Department today.

“…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. 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,” he said.

The 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council begins in Geneva next week and goes on till March 28 during which time the US is expected to sponsor a resolution on Sri Lanka.

The US human rights report, which looks at the human rights situation last year in every country, notes that in Sri Lanka, the Government did not make significant progress with regard to the thousands of disappearances from past years.

It said that the government did not publish the results of any investigations into disappearances, nor did it publish information on any investigations, indictments, or convictions of anyone involved in cases related to disappearances.

The report also noted that senior government officials repeatedly accused journalists, who published critical stories about the government and its policies, of treason and often pressured editors and publishers to print stories that portrayed the government in a positive light. Sometimes the government reportedly exerted such pressure directly through threats and intimidation.

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