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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