Sri Lanka Tamil party holds discussions with US envoy

Feb 07, Colombo: Leaders of Sri Lanka’s major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance, met with the visiting The United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, Stephen J. Rapp and held discussions with various issues affecting the Tamil community, TNA sources said.

According to a TNA release, Rapp who arrived in Sri Lanka on February 5 for a 4-day visit has met with the TNA leader R. Sampanthan and the parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran.

The Obama envoy is in Sri Lanka to mainly review the final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and discuss the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations and accountability issues with relevant officials.

The U.S. officials’ visit ahead of the UN Human Rights Council Sessions due to commence on February 27 in Geneva is viewed as crucial since the US government is preparing to support a UNHRC resolution that will ask Sri Lanka to take more concrete actions towards reconciliation and especially, addressing the accountability issue and implementing the recommendations put forward by the LLRC.

United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake and State Department’s Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Maria Otero will also arrive in Sri Lanka on February 12 for a two-day visit.

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