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Posted On : 16 Mar, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : Colombo 
Sri Lanka agrees to co-sponsor UNHRC resolution: US
The US today said Sri Lanka has agreed to co-sponsor a resolution at the UNHRC and welcomed Colombo's efforts to seek reconciliation with the minority Tamil community.

The US and other nations have tabled a draft resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka that reflects our enduring commitment to lasting peace and justice for all the people of Sri Lanka, a statement issued here said.

The US worked in close consultation with the UK, Montenegro and Macedonia as well as in partnership with the Sri Lankan government to draft the resolution.

"We look forward to the adoption of the text, which will support reconciliation and justice in Sri Lanka, help ensure a non-recurrence of conflict, and strengthen democratic governance and freedoms for all Sri Lankans," the statement said.

The United States is pleased that Sri Lanka has agreed once again to co-sponsor the resolution, and invites like-minded UN members to demonstrate support for reconciliation and peace in Sri Lanka by adding their names to the list of cosponsors, it said.

The US applauds the administration of President Maithripala Sirisena for his continuing efforts to promote reconciliation, it added.

The statement comes at a time when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has blamed the Sirisena government for negating Sri Lanka's interests.

However, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in a sharp reaction to Rajapaksa has defended the government's action.

Rajapaksa group wants Sirisena to sack Samaraweera for agreeing to the terms in the original resolution where the UNHRC prescribed a hybrid court with local and foreign judges to probe war crimes allegations against Sri Lankan troops.

The UNHRC had adopted a US-sponsored resolution on human rights violation in Sri Lanka with 25 countries, including India, voting in favour of the document in the 47-nation strong body in March last year.

A UN rights expert asked exhorted the Lankan government to return military-occupied land and reduce the role of the army in northern areas, a long-pending demand of the ethnic Tamils since the end of the nearly three-decade-long separatist war led by the LTTE in 2009 in which thousands of civilians were killed.
 
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