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US asks Colombo, Tamil Diaspora to seek political reconciliation

Last Updated: Thursday, August 13, 2009 - 09:51

Washington: The US has asked the Sri Lankan government and the American Tamil community to seek opportunities to engage one another on political reconciliation and the reconstruction of Sri Lanka.
The call was made by US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake and US Charge d`Affaires in Sri Lanka James Moore in a meeting with 16 representatives of US-based organisations representing members of the Tamil Diaspora on Tuesday.

During the discussion at the State Department with Moore joining through a digital video conference at the US embassy in Colombo, the two officials underscored the importance of political reconciliation, the State Department said.

The US has stressed to the government that to achieve a lasting peace, it must promote justice and political reconciliation for all parties, dialogue with all parties, including Tamils inside and outside Sri Lanka on new mechanisms for devolving power, and improve human rights.

Blake and Moore welcomed the opportunity to listen to the concerns and perspectives of the American Tamil Diaspora community and to share the steps the US is taking to address the humanitarian crisis.

The US has provided USD 56 million in humanitarian assistance in 2009. While the Sri Lanka government has made some progress easing camp congestion, registering internally displaced persons (IDPs), and expanding access by humanitarian organisations, much remains to be done, the officials said.

The US is urging the safe and speedy return of IDPs, continued access for international humanitarian organizations, and the registration and provision of national identification cards to IDPs, to help promote freedom of movement.


First Published: Thursday, August 13, 2009 - 09:51
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