23 March 2013
The United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele Sison, spoke about post-resolution steps, following the adoption of the second resolution on Sri Lanka, at the United Nations Human Rights Council, in Geneva last week.
Speaking to press at the American Centre in Geneva, Sison, outlined that Sri Lanka had been given ample time and space to address allegations of violations of human rights abuses and humanitarian law, noting,
"Three years and 10 months since the conclusion of the war might be considered ample 'time and space' provided to Colombo to make progress on investigating human rights allegations."
When questioned on post-resolution engagement with Sri Lanka, the US envoy reiterated that the next step would be continued dialogue with Sri Lanka, and other international partners to ensure a thorough investigation into alleged humanitarian law violations.
Acknowledging that nearly 4 years after the end of the war, serious questions remained about democracy, rule of law and human rights in Sri Lanka, Sison highlighted the adopted resolution's mention of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' call for an international investigation into abuses, noting that it,
"sends a strong message to Sri Lanka about Pillay's report and offer of assistance."
Sison welcomed the passing of the resolution and expressed enthusiasm with regards to the continued vigorous engagement and exchange of views with senior Sri Lankan officials that would follow from this year's UNHRC session.
Noting that further international mechanisms can be appropriate in cases where states are either unwilling or unable to meet its own obligations, she warned,
"As we move forward from Geneva we renew our consideration of all options available in the UNHRC and beyond.""life does not stop on 21 March," she asserted.