US delegation in Sri Lanka to check reconciliation progress
Colombo: The US, which has been vociferously criticising Sri Lanka's human rights records during the civil war, will assess the island's progress on the recommendations of a post-war committee that suggested several ways to end the ethnic conflict.
A team of three senior US officials, including an Indian- American, arrived here today on a seven-day visit to Sri Lanka and Maldives.
The delegation led by James Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, will hold talks with senior government officials here before they head to the war-torn areas in the country's north.
The delegation which also includes Vikram Singh, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence and Jane Zimmerman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, would also assess Sri Lanka's progress on the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
The LLRC, appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2010 after world countries accused Sri Lanka and the LTTE of large- scale violations of human rights, recommended ways to prevent another separatist conflict with the Tamils, who constitute 12 per cent of the country's population.
The visit also came ahead of possible move by US to bring another Sri Lanka specific resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva in March this year.
The US with India's backing moved a resolution at the same session in March last year, which was passed. It called for speedier implementation of the LLRC and improve the island's human rights accountability record.
The LLRC recommended several proposals which could lead to ethnic harmony.