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US to go ahead with human rights resolution against Sri Lanka

Washington, Mar 19, 2013 (PTI) 10:35 IST
Demonstrators hold portraits of missing relatives during a protest outside the United nations office in Colombo on March 13, 2013. A Roman Catholic priest led families of victims to hand over a petition to the UN office as Sri Lanka faced renewed censure at the on-going UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva. Priest Sebamalai Emmanual said hundreds of minority Tamils were stopped from leaving the northern town of Vavuniya a week ago by police and security forces who blocked a planned peaceful demonstration in the capital. AFP PHOTO
The US is going ahead with its resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as the Rajapaksha government has failed to fulfill its international obligations, which it promised after the fall of the LTTE, the Obama Administration said today.

Without naming any one, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference that the US is working with a lot of governments who share its concerns about the lack of progress in Sri Lanka.

"It is not a surprise to the government of Sri Lanka that we are doing this. We made clearly 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," Nuland said.
"I remember when the (Sri Lankan) Foreign Minister was here last year and met with (the then) Secretary (of State, Hillary) Clinton, she made clear that if we didn't have progress, we would go forward, and that's what we've done," she said.

The Sri Lanka government needs to fulfill its promise and international obligations, she said when asked the views of the critics of the American resolution that this would boost the moral of pro-LTTE groups in the country and world over.

"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," Nuland said.

The US had adopted a similar resolution last year with India's support which bound Sri Lanka to make rapid progress on reconciliation with the Tamils.

Sri Lankan forces had crushed LTTE in May 2009 after nearly three decades of brutal fighting. The conflict claimed up to 1,00,000 lives, according to UN estimates, and both sides are accused of war crimes.

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