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Lanka backsliding on fundamental democratic rights: US

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 19:39

Colombo: As it prepares to table a resolution on Lankan Tamils at the UNHRC, the US on Wednesday expressed concern over Sri Lanka`s lack of progress in rights accountability and other key areas of fundamental democratic rights.

"The US is constructively working with international partners to support of these basic freedoms through the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution in Geneva," US Embassy here said in a statement.

"Since last year`s UNHRC resolution the US has grown increasingly concerned by the lack of progress on these issues, as well as backsliding on other important areas of fundamental democratic rights.

All Sri Lankans should enjoy the same rights and live in dignity, sharing a democratic, secure, and prosperous future," the statement said as Lankan police on Wednesday blocked hundreds of Tamil protesters from leaving northern Vavuniya town to take part in a rally in Colombo.

"These family members are calling for information about their missing loved ones. The Embassy calls upon Sri Lankan authorities to allow free movement of these citizens. The right to freely express opinions is universal and protected under Sri Lankan and international law," the statement said.

The US is set to move the new resolution against Sri Lanka at the current session of the UNHRC for its alleged war crimes, asking the country to promote reconciliation and accountability.

The resolution will ask Sri Lanka to follow through on its own commitments to its people, including implementing the constructive recommendations from the report by Sri Lanka`s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

At last year`s UNHRC, the US sponsored anti-Sri Lanka resolution was carried with Indian support.


First Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 19:39
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