Human rights issues also figured at the State Department news briefing in Washington DC last Thursday. Questions were taken by Patrick Ventrell acting Deputy Spokesperson.
He was asked:
”QUESTION: Just a quick one on human rights. The UN Human Rights Report and also Human Rights Watch, they are accusing Sri Lanka as far as not taking steps against the minorities or for their welfare. Does U.S. agree with that? Because Sri Lanka denies all these reports and all.
“MR. VENTRELL:So we’re reviewing this lengthy and extensive report. I understand we just got it a day or so ago. But we do note our strong concern about human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka. And to date, the Government of Sri Lanka has not initiated a full, credible, or independent investigation into longstanding allegations of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, including sexual assault. So we’re reviewing this particular report, but you know where we’ve been in terms of human rights in Sri Lanka and our really deep concerns.”
Sri Lanka figured again at the State Department news briefing on Friday. Here is what transpired:
“QUESTION: All right. There’s one more on Sri Lanka I have.
“MR. VENTRELL: Sure.
“QUESTION: On the resolution that you are putting up at the UN, is it different than the last? How different is it from the last year’s resolution that the U.S. has put in?
“MR. VENTRELL: Well, we do intend to, as I mentioned yesterday, sponsor resolution at the UN Human Rights Council current session. It will build on the 2012 resolution, which called on Sri Lanka to do more to promote reconciliation and accountability. The resolution will ask the Government of Sri Lanka to follow through on its own commitments to its people, including implementing the constructive recommendations from the report by Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. So that’s really the content of the resolution and we’re cosponsoring – we’re sponsoring it and support it.”