The United States State Department have released their 2011 human rights report, raising numerous concerns with the situation in Sri Lanka, including disappearances, torture, freedom of the press, IDP protection, sexual violence, government co-operation with NGOs and unlawful killings in Tamil areas.
Marking the release Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a warning to governments across the world that abuse human rights, stating
“These reports, which the United States Government has published for nearly four decades, make clear to governments around the world: We are watching and we are holding you accountable. And they make clear to citizens and activists everywhere: You are not alone. We are standing with you.”
Regarding Sri Lanka, the report stated,
“The major human rights problems were unlawful killings by security forces and government-allied paramilitary groups, often in predominantly Tamil areas, which led many to regard them as politically motivated, and attacks on and harassment of civil society activists, persons viewed as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathizers, and journalists by persons allegedly tied to the government, which created an environment of fear and self-censorship.”
“Other serious human rights problems included disappearances, as well as a lack of accountability for thousands who disappeared in previous years.”
“Discrimination against persons with disabilities and against the ethnic Tamil minority continued, and a disproportionate number of victims of human rights violations were Tamils.”
“The government continued to refuse the request by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for an expanded mission and an independent presence in the country.”
See the section of the report on Sri Lanka here.
See Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's and Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner full speeches at the release, in the video below.
Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris met with both the officials on a recent trip to the State Department last week.
In her speech at the release of the report Clinton went on to state,
“So we are supporting efforts around the world to give people a voice in their societies, a stake in their economies, and to support them as they determine for themselves the future of their own lives and the contributions they can make to the future of their countries.”
“But this is at the core of who we are. This is central to what we believe. And this is the work that will continue administration after administration, secretary after secretary, because of its centrality to our foreign policy and national security.”
COURTESY - Tamilguardian.com