Human Rights Council criticizes Sri Lanka's human rights recordListen /
The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to adopt a draft resolution that is critical of the human rights record of Sri Lanka.
The resolution, sponsored by the United States, calls on the government of Sri Lanka to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe said the resolution acknowledged the progress made by Sri Lanka but said that much is still to be done:
"Sri Lanka must take meaningful action on reconciliation and accountability and address the growing concerns over the deteriorating human rights situation."
Among continuing reports of violations of human rights in the country are enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
Sri Lanka's representative at the Human Rights Council, Mahinda Samarasinghe, had strongly encouraged delegates to vote against the resolution:
"I must stress that those genuinely concerned about the future well being of the people of Sri Lanka should encourage the country in its ongoing reconciliation process rather than single it out for disproportionate attention of this council."
25 delegates voted in favour of the resolution and 13 against – including Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. There were eight abstentions.
Nicki Chadwick, UN Radio, Geneva