WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement welcoming the adoption of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka:
“The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) recently found once again that all parties to civil war likely committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, and so I welcome yesterday’s adoption of the consensus resolution on reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka.
“Though the Sri Lankan government won the war more than five years ago, leaders in Colombo have only recently focused on winning the peace. President Sirisena has had a strong first year, and he should now work to implement the recommendations made in this resolution in order to move the country forward.
“That requires the government to commit to security-sector reform; transitional justice; devolution of power; normalizing the military presence throughout the country—particularly the north and east; and the establishment of a hybrid court with international judges and prosecutors that demonstrates the government’s sincerity on accountability, and ultimately, reconciliation.
“The OISL report, this resolution, and Sri Lanka’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report illuminate a path forward for Sri Lanka—if the country’s leaders will seize the opportunity. I look forward to working with this government to make sure this chance is not lost, and to help advance the U.S.-Sri Lanka relationship.”