Following the adoption of a second resolution onSri Lankaat the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva last week, theUSstates that international mechanisms can be appropriate in cases where states are either unable or unwilling to meet their obligations.
Speaking to the Colombo based The Sunday Leader, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele Sison said the international community is committed to discussing post Geneva in building international consensus on the most practical way forward and one of those ways forward articulated at the UNHRC in the resolution on a comment by the US Ambassador to Geneva was looking for a constructive role of the Office of the High Commission of Human Rights.
“As we move forward from Geneva we renew our consideration of all options available in the UNHRC and beyond,” she said referring to next steps postGeneva.
When inquired what was meant by “beyond,” Sison noted that international mechanisms can be appropriate in cases where states are either unable or unwilling to meet its own obligations.
She pointed out that the government has had ample time and space to address a number of concerns, especially to address allegations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian laws.
The Ambassador said that the vote at the UNHRC was clear that the international community encouraged the government ofSri Lankato fulfill its own obligations to its people and to take meaningful concrete steps on reconciliation and accountability.
She observed that the resolution is a “balanced and constructive” one that acknowledged the progress that has been made in certain areas while at the same time noting that “considerable work lies ahead in the area of justice, reconciliation and resumption of livelihoods.”
“The expectation is that the government of Sri Lanka heard this message coming from a broad cross section,” Sisson said, adding that the countries that the 40 plus countries that co-sponsored the resolution and those who voted in favour of it were looking at the constructive role of the office of the High Commission for Human Rights to continue to report on these issues.
When asked whether the US believed that the government of Sri Lanka would implement the recommendations in the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights given the critical comments made against Navi Pillay and her office by Sri Lanka, Sisson told The Sunday Leader that the resolution has given a strong message with “a majority of the Council sitting and saying yes to a resolution that shows appreciation to the efforts by the High Commissioner and her office.”