US says it had alerted Sri Lanka

The US government says it had alerted the government last year on the possibility of taking action on Sri Lanka if there was no progress on human rights related issues.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Sri Lanka had been alerted last year by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she met External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris.

Clinton had told the Sri Lankan Minister that if there was no progress in Sri Lanka the US government will go forward.

The US State Department says the government must fulfill its obligations made to the international community on human rights related issues.

Nuland said that the US is working with several governments on the resolution on Sri Lanka submitted at the UN Human Rights Council yesterday.

“It is not a surprise to the Government of Sri Lanka that we are doing this. We made clear publicly and privately that this was a response to the fact that we just didn’t see the kind of movement that was necessary. We didn’t see promises fulfilled. So we’re being very transparent with the Government of Sri Lanka, and we’re expecting strong support for the resolution that we’ve put forward,” she said.

Asked if the submitted the resolution will be a victory for pro-LTTE groups who were lobbying for action on the government, Nuland said the best response the Sri Lankan government could give to such claims is to fulfill its obligations.

“Well, the best thing that the Government of Sri Lanka could do for its own people and to undercut the claims of these groups would be to fulfill the obligations that it made to the international community to take the process forward. So that hasn’t happened, and we are taking more measures in the Human Rights Council to make clear that progress has been insufficient,” she said. (Colombo Gazette)