Address grievances of minority Tamils: Japan to Sri Lanka
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 20:04
Colombo: Japan on Wednesday announced a 39 billion Yen assistance for the development of Sri Lanka's health, education and infrastructure sectors, even as it pressed Colombo to address the grievances of minority Tamils, devastated by decades-old ethnic conflict.

Visiting Japanese Envoy Yashushi Akashi told reporters after a meeting with Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G L Peiris that Tokyo was providing 39 billion Japanese Yen after consultation with the Sri Lanka.

On his 20th visit to the country, Akashi noted that Sri Lanka has made great strides towards peace and also welcomed the creation of a commission of lessons learned and reconciliation by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Akashi, whose country is the largest donor to Sri Lanka, said a planned reconciliation commission must be "transparent and comprehensible" if it is to secure a prosperous future for the country.

"We are watching how the reconciliation commission will proceed," Akashi said.

Asked to comment on war crimes allegations, Akashi said he believes Sri Lanka will follow the due process and do what is best for the country.

He also said he has discussed with Minister Peiris on how the UN can contribute to the process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka considering the experience it has around the world, the Daily Mirror reported.

Meanwhile Peiris noted that Sri Lanka is looking at a "just and fair" political process for the country and had commenced talks with minority parties as part of this process.

He said he had briefed Akashi on the need for Sri Lanka to put behind the past and look towards the process of healing.

On his part, Peiris said Sri Lanka would not allow any international probe on an alleged human rights violations during the last phase of Eelam IV war.

"We expect our reconciliation commission to address all issues to the conflict as part of our healing process," he said.


First Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 20:04

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