U.S. Statement at the Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Sri Lanka Report

Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Presentation of Sri Lanka Report

Statement of the United States of America
As delivered by Daniel Kronenfeld

United Nations Human Rights Council 46th Session
Geneva, February 25, 2021

Madame President,

We thank High Commissioner Bachelet for her comprehensive report and note the Government of Sri Lanka’s engagement.  The United States shares OHCHR’s concerns and urges Sri Lanka to make public a strategy and timetable for implementation of the report’s recommendations.

We are concerned by accounts of increasing marginalization of minority communities and shrinking space for civil society, including independent media.  We remain concerned about the lack of accountability, including high-level appointments of military officials credibly accused of conflict-era abuses.

The Sri Lankan government’s efforts to address concerns raised in OHCHR’s report via a domestic process need to be meaningful and credible.  We note that the Sri Lankan Commission of Inquiry does not include a mandate to pursue accountability, and that the Office of Missing Persons and Office of Reparations need to operate without political interference.

We note that respect for the human rights of all Sri Lankans is critical to Sri Lanka’s long-term peace, security and prosperity, and call on the Sri Lankan government to take meaningful, concrete steps to promote accountability, justice, and reconciliation.

Thank you.