Partnership Dialogue commences, US reiterates support for implementation of UNHRC resolution

Basic CMYKThe second Sri Lanka- US partnership dialogue commenced in Colombo today, with the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon meeting with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary, Prasad Kariyawasam.

“Sri Lanka and the United States recalled their co-sponsorship of a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2017, reaffirming Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in pursuit of lasting peace and prosperity,” a joint statement released on Monday read.

“The United States expressed support to Sri Lanka in the implementation of commitments as agreed in the Human Rights Council resolution, such as truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, that includes providing closure to the families of the missing, and implementing appropriate reforms to enhance the professionalism of security institutions.  USAID is assisting the Government of Sri Lanka in the implementation of these commitments that reflect the will of the people of Sri Lanka, through support for reconciliation activities.”

“The commitment of the government of Sri Lanka to strengthening democracy, democratic institutions and practices, good governance, the rule of law, justice, reconciliation, accountability, and parliamentary procedures, was emphasized.  The United States welcomed progress on constitutional reform, the return of private land held by security forces, and the establishment of an independent and permanent Office of Missing Persons.”

The statement also reiterated continuing bilateral cooperation on security sector training. The US has been criticised for its military engagement with its Sri Lankan counterparts amid unresolved allegations of mass atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan military, as well as ongoing reports of torture in detention.

“Bilateral security sector cooperation continues in parallel with Sri Lanka’s ongoing reconciliation, rule of law and judicial reform efforts. This also includes U.S. support for demining, joint military engagements, human rights training of Sri Lankan officers, and visits by ships and military officials,” the statement noted.

See here for full statement.