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Interactive Dialogue with OHCHR on Sri Lanka
September 12, 2022

Interactive Dialogue with OHCHR on Sri Lanka

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

Human Rights Council – 51st Session

Thank you, Madam Vice President.

The United States is committed to supporting the Sri Lankan people in their efforts to strengthen their democracy. We recognize the profound economic and political challenges the country is facing, and we welcome the government’s efforts at reform.

The rule of law, equal access to justice, independent institutions, transparency, and accountability are pillars of democratic systems.

We value the HRC’s attention to and engagement on Sri Lanka, including the OHCHR’s recent report and its efforts to help survivors and the families of missing persons.

We urge respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including rights to peaceful assembly and expression. We call for accountability for protest-related violence in line with rule of law and equal access to justice.

It is essential that the Prevention of Terrorism Act align with international human rights obligations and commitments, to protect fair trial guarantees and other applicable legal protections. As a key step toward improved human rights, it is also important to address longstanding impunity and corruption in Sri Lanka.

We will continue to support justice, accountability, and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Madam Acting Deputy High Commissioner: How can we best support Sri Lanka’s political reform efforts and ensure they are representative, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of all, including members of minority groups?

I thank you.