Washington calls on Lanka to set visit dates for Special Rapporteurs

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 00:32 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

US delegation flags concerns about violence against religious minorities, excessive use of force by military Germany notes ‘high concern’ about human rights situation in Sri Lanka The US Government yesterday called for access for UN Special Rapporteurs to visit Sri Lanka and flagged Washington’s continuous concern by violence against religious minorities and the use of excessive force by the military. Addressing the UN Human Rights Council’s 24th Session during the General Debate on human rights situations requiring Council attention today, the US Delegation said Sri Lanka should set visit dates and provide access for relevant Special Rapporteurs. “We remain concerned by violence against religious minorities excessive use of force by the military against peaceful protestors, violations of freedom of expression and reprisals against human rights defenders, members of civil society and journalists,” the US Delegation said in its statement to the Council. Also addressing the Council during the General Debate, Ambassador Hanns Schumacher said concrete steps to implement the LLRC report or investigate atrocities alleged to have been committed at the end of the civil war in 2009 remain outstanding. “Our concerns remain high with respect to the human rights situation in Sri Lanka,” the German Ambassador said. He said the upcoming elections in the Northern Province could help to reconcile and enfranchise the Tamil population, but only if they are free and fair and if the 13th amendment is not revoked. “At the same time, conditions for the work of journalists, human rights defenders and NGOs continue to deteriorate,” the German Ambassador told the Council.  (DB)