Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 02/24/2012 - 01:53
Washington, 23 February, 2012 - "But to date, frankly, we’ve not seen a detailed action plan from the Government of Sri Lanka on how it’s going to implement these (LLRC) recommendations. So I think we still encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to move forward to take concrete steps on this implementation plan. And at the same time, we’re working with our partners in Geneva on a resolution within the UNHRC that calls for actions on important steps towards reconciliation. But I think our goal ultimately is the same here: We want to see these recommendations implemented and so that they can help lead towards reconciliation", said US State Department spokesman Mark Toner in his press briefing today. "we’ve long said that we would support local efforts and want to see local efforts to address these issues, but we would also engage international mechanisms if appropriate" he stated.
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 02/15/2012 - 00:22
US Embassy for Sri Lanka & Maldives, February 13, 2012 - Transcript of Press Conference by Under Secretary Maria Otero and Assistant Secretary Robert O. Blake, Jr. in Colombo - I confirmed that the United States will support a resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council in March that provides an opportunity for the government of Sri Lanka to describe what it intends to do to implement the LLRC’s recommendations and advance reconciliation as well as address accountability, human rights, and democracy concerns. Ultimately the government should address the needs of all communities in Sri Lanka by creating independent mechanisms that support reconciliation, democracy and accountability for serious human rights abuses. It is critical to ensure the rule of law to foster lasting reconciliation. We strongly encourage the government of Sri Lanka to work with international bodies including the United Nations to address these matters.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 02/12/2012 - 02:23
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER of the US DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK - VATHSALA DEVI and SEETHARAM SIVAM against SHAVENDRA SILVA, February 8, 2012 - Notwithstanding the gravity of the allegations made by the plaintiffs in this case, the diplomatic immunity mandated by 22 U.S.C. § 254d precludes this Court from considering the merits of their claims against Silva, at least while he is cloaked with immunity as a United Nations representative. The purpose of that immunity “is not to cover up heinous deeds from coming to the light of day, or to protect a nation’s leaders from accountability for their acts,” Tachiona v. Mugabe, 169 F. Supp. 2d 259, 317 (S.D.N.Y. 2001), aff’d in relevant part, 386 F.3d 205 (2d Cir. 2004), but rather to protect the interests of comity and diplomacy among nations, and, not incidentally, to ensure the protection of our own diplomats abroad.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 01/21/2012 - 00:05
U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs Democrats, January 10, 2012 - Washington, D.C. – Congressman Howard Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement on the recent release of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report.
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 01/19/2012 - 03:08
By Uttara Choudhury, First Post, Jan 16, 2012 - New York: There are few more knowledgeable observers of US-India relations than William H Avery, a former US diplomat, who served at the US Consulate in Chennai in the 1990s, a time when India’s relations with the US soured after New Delhi’s nuclear tests. In his new book, China’s Nightmare, America’s Dream: India as the Next Global Power, Avery offers a detailed anatomy of the growing ties between the world’s largest and wealthiest democracies. Avery’s book also delivers a broadside against China and says India must respond to how China has advanced its influence in the region, with allies like Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. China has established itself as a growing, and sometimes bullying, power in India’s neighbourhood.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 01/15/2012 - 01:46
TamilNet, Saturday, 14 January 2012 - In a clear articulation of US State Department's continuing support of Sri Lanka's President Rajapakse, the US Justice Department, based on a directive from legal adviser Harold Koh, has suggested to the District Court of District of Columbia that Rajapakse has immunity from the suit filed by three Tamil plaintiffs for alleged complicity in war-crimes. The US State department asserts that "the Executive Branch retains the authority to refrain from making a similar immunity determination in future cases, considering, for example, international norms and the implications of the litigation for the Nation's foreign relations," indicating that US would positively exercise its discretion in this case to intervene to prevent continuation of the suit.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 01/07/2012 - 01:44
Washington, 06 January 2012 - "International accountability mechanisms can become appropriate in circumstances in which a government is unable or unwilling to meet its obligations", Michael H. Posner (Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the Department of State) said today in his official response to the petition to the Obama Administration to support an international investigation into war crimes and other human rights abuses committed in Sri Lanka. The Petition at President Obama's White House website was created on Sep 29, 2011 by Jim McDonald, the Sri Lanka country specialist for Amnesty International USA. It received 5,938 signatures. "White House issues disappointing response to our petition" Jim McDonald commented in his Twitter post, immediately after the response.
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 12/22/2011 - 04:12
By Rep. Michael Grimm, Roll Call, Dec. 21, 2011 - As a Representative serving in the greatest democracy in the world, I feel Congress must not stand idly by as the Sri Lankan government continues to carry out policies that could stir up long-standing tensions and lead to another large-scale civil war. Failure by the United States and international community to act sends the message that leading democratic bodies are unwilling to consistently protect and promote fundamental human rights and the core tenets of democracy. Not only is an independent international investigation the right thing to do for the people of Sri Lanka, but it is the right policy for the U.S. as we continue to work to spread freedom and democracy throughout the globe.
Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 12/20/2011 - 03:15
Washington, 19 December 2011 - "We have concerns that the report, nonetheless, does not fully address all the allegations of serious human rights violations that occurred in the final phase of the conflict. So this leaves questions about accountability and – for those allegations, and so we urge the Sri Lankan Government not only to fulfill all of the recommendations of the report as it stands, but also to address those issues that the report did not cover", US State Department Spokesperson Ms. Victoria Nuland said in the midst of the Daily Press Briefing on Monday.
Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 12/19/2011 - 01:20
TamilNet, Saturday, 17 December 2011 - After avoiding service for more than 9 months, and despite statements by Colombo that Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse is not answerable to US Courts, Rajapakse-appointed counsel from the lobby firm of Patton Boggs filed a motion with the District Court of District of Columbia for "enlargement of time to respond to the complaint" related to the legal action, 11-cv-00235, by three Tamil plaintiffs sponsored by Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group. Legal observers expressed surprise at the filing, which, in addition to effecting waiver of service, also attempts to set the time window for response pleading tied to a discretionary act by Judge Kotelly on seeking view of the US State Department.