Sri Lanka in US human rights report

Sri Lanka is expected to figure in the annual U.S human rights report to be released on Thursday, sources told the Colombo Gazette.

U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner will release the 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in the Department of State Press Briefing Room.

The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, commonly known as the Human Rights Reports, cover the status of human rights in countries around the world.

Earlier this year Michael H. Posner had said that the United States will push for an international accountability mechanism in Sri Lanka over alleged Human Rights violations.

He said the United States shares concerns about accountability for the alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that occurred during Sri Lanka’s recent conflict and is committed to working with the government of Sri Lanka, the United Nations, and the international community to implement a just and equitable reconciliation process for all Sri Lankans.

“At the request of Congress, the Department of State prepared two reports in 2009 and 2010 on alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law during Sri Lanka’s recent conflict. These reports can be found at www.state.gov. As we noted in both reports, the United States takes these allegations very seriously. We believe individual accountability for such violations is a critical component of reconciliation, and meaningful steps in this regard will advance Sri Lanka’s own efforts to heal after decades of conflict,” Posner said.

Posner further added that the U.S. hopes the Government of Sri Lanka will address these reconciliation and accountability issues in a manner commensurate with its international obligations, and for its part the U.S. will continue to reiterate to the government of Sri Lanka that, while domestic authorities have primary responsibility to ensure that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law are held accountable, international accountability mechanisms can become appropriate in circumstances in which a government is unable or unwilling to meet its obligations.

The annual human rights report was compiled before the recent meeting between External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris and U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington. (Colombo Gazette)