Show 'visible outcomes' in reconciliation: Japan to SL



Colombo: Japan on Saturday asked Sri Lanka to demonstrate "visible outcomes" to the international community on achieving the goals of reconciliation with the Tamil minority, as Colombo battles charges of human rights violations.

Japanese special envoy Yasushi Akashi, who concluded his five-day visit to Sri Lanka, during which he toured the war-torn north and met President Mahinda Rajapaksa, also asked the Tamil community to show patience.

Sri Lanka has been subject to international pressure since the conclusion of the separatist war with the LTTE.

Its rights record has come under international scrutiny which reached a peak with last March's adoption of an anti-Sri Lanka resolution at UN Human Rights Council.

Akashi, a former UN under secretary general was Japan's special peace envoy during the Norwegian backed peace process with the LTTE.

Talking about the national action plan for reconciliation, Akashi said, "I reiterated (to Rajapaksa) the importance to take effective measures and demonstrate visible outcomes to the international community".

He told reporters today that Japan would help Sri Lanka mend its relations with the international community.

Akashi said he was pleased with the progress made in Sri Lanka's efforts towards reconciliation.

In Jaffna, he told religious and civil society representatives that the Tamil community need to show patience.

Responding to complaints by religious and civil society in Jaffna of very little progress, Akashi said only three years had passed by since the end of a 30-year-conflict.

PTI