US Bill imposes restrictions on military assistance to Lanka

Last Updated: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 20:11

Washington: A bill passed by the US House
of Representative on Friday imposed restrictions on US military
assistance to Sri Lanka and sought a report from the Secretary
of State on the alleged crime against humanity during the last
phase of the 30-year-old civil war there.

The Senate and House Conference report of the 2010
Appropriations Bill direct the Secretary of State to submit a
report supplementing her report on October 21 on crimes
against humanity in Sri Lanka detailing whether any measures
have been taken by Colombo and international bodies to
investigate such incidents, and evaluating the effectiveness
of such efforts.
A section in the Bill, which deals with US financial
assistance to Sri Lanka, restricts any military assistance to
Colombo until the Secretary of State certifies to the
Committee on Appropriations that Sri Lanka is suspending and
bringing to justice members of the military who have been
credibly alleged to have violated internationally recognised
human rights or international humanitarian law.

The Senate is expected to pass the 2010 Appropriations
Bill this weekend.

The Conference report also expressed its concern Sri
Lanka has not taken credible steps to promote reconciliation
among Tamils and other minority ethnic groups.

While the report welcomed the defeat of the Tamil
Tigers, it expressed concerned over the displaced Tamils who
are still detained in closed camps, as well as other persons
who have been imprisoned or are being prosecuted for publicly
reporting attacks on civilians.
The Conference report also expressed its concern Sri
Lanka has not taken credible steps to promote reconciliation
among Tamils and other minority ethnic groups.

The conference agreement includes a provision
directing the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the United
States Executive Directors of the international financial
institutions to vote against financial support for Sri Lanka,
except to meet basic human needs, unless certain requirements
are met.

"If all conditions are met by Sri Lanka, then the
Secretary of State should ensure that any military assistance
to Sri Lanka be used to support the recruitment and training
of Tamils into the Sri Lankan military, Tamil language
training for Sinhalese military personnel, and human rights
training for all military personnel," the 2010 Appropriations
Bill said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 20:11

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