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US welcomes passage of UNHRC resolution on Lanka

March 22, 2013 10:21 IST

The United States has welcomed the passage of a resolution on Sri Lanka sponsored by it at the United Nations Human Rights Commission, saying the vote sent a clear signal to Colombo that the international community is committed to promote peace and stability in the country.

"Today's vote sends a clear message that the international community is committed to working with the government of Sri Lanka to promote greater peace, stability, and prosperity for all of the people of Sri Lanka," said Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson of the National Security Council.

"The United States welcomes today's passage of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka," she said.

"This resolution, which the United States co-sponsored as part of a cross-regional group, calls on the government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its commitments to promote meaningful reconciliation for all Sri Lankans," she said.

The resolution also encourages the government to credibly investigate allegations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law as Sri Lanka continues to heal from more than two decades of conflict, Hayden said.

In another statement, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird also welcomed the passage of the US resolution on Sri Lanka.

"The resolution reminds courageous individuals and their families, as well as victims of human rights violations, that they have not been forgotten by the international community," he said.

"Canada will continue to pursue this issue -- and other troubling recent developments like the weakening of judicial independence and the rule of law in Sri Lanka -- through multilateral and other channels, including the Commonwealth," Baird said.

The Human Rights Council approved the resolution with 25 countries, including India, supporting the resolution, 13 countries voting against and eight abstaining.

The resolution, led by the United States, calls on Sri Lanka to deliver its promises to investigate widespread allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights during the military campaign of May 2009.

This resolution calls on Sri Lankan leaders to work with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to expeditiously and effectively implement the recommendations made in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and to initiate credible action to ensure justice, equity and accountability.

Lalit K Jha
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