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Top US officials arrive in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka`s rights record is expected to be the centre of discussions at the UN Human Rights Council`s session.



Colombo: Two top US diplomats arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday to meet government officials ahead of the UN Human Rights Council`s (UNHRC) session at which the country`s rights record is expected to be the centre of discussions.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake and Under Secretary for Civilian Protection, Human rights and Democracy Maria Otero have arrived here, officials said today.

The two high ranking officials` visit comes amidst speculation that US would move a resolution against Sri Lanka at the next session of the UNHRC getting underway later this month in Geneva.

Sri Lanka`s rights record during the last stages of the military campaign against the LTTE in 2009 has been at international scrutiny since the report of a special UN panel issued its report last April.
The report called for independent investigations into alleged war crimes by both the government and the LTTE. Meanwhile, the government here today said that a group of influential US Congressmen in a letter to President Barack Obama had urged strengthening ties between US and Sri Lanka, noting the latter’s triumph over terrorism. The letter signed by Republican Jack Kingston and 11 others both Republican and Democratic says for the first time in a generation the US has an opportunity to develop its relations with Sri Lanka.

PTI

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