Kerry urged to push Sri Lanka to repeal PTA, free prisoners
US Secretary of State John Kerry has been urged to push Sri Lanka to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), release political prisoners and return land held by the army.
The chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Edward Royce has written to Kerry saying he supports the increased diplomatic engagement with the Sri Lankan Government.
He noted in the letter that the Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena had made several promises and continues to make “impressive, positive steps”.
“Renewed US diplomatic engagement should continue to support these efforts. To that end, I urge you to continue to press the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to release political prisoners, repeal the war-time “Prevention of Terrorism Act”, and return land seized during the conflict, These actions, which the government has already committed to take, would help build confidence in Sri Lanka’s ability to undertake even larger reforms.”
Royce also urged Kerry to clearly outline steps the US will take to support reform in Sri Lanka, including implementing the recommendations of the UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Raad al Hussain and stressed on the importance of a clearly-articulated policy on Sri Lanka.