US official on War Crimes to visit Sri Lanka

Jan 29, Colombo: The United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, Stephen J. Rapp will be in Sri Lanka next week, unconfirmed reports say.

Rapp is expected to have high level discussions with the Sri Lankan government officials including the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, opposition and civil society leaders.

However, neither Sri Lankan government nor the US Embassy in Colombo had issued an official statement regarding the official’s visit.

A website quoting an unnamed spokesman of US Embassy in Colombo said that the spokesman has confirmed that Ambassador Rapp will be in the island during the week beginning from February 05.

Reportedly, the Obama envoy will be in Sri Lanka to mainly review the final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and discuss its findings and recommendations with relevant officials.

It is significant that Rapp’s visit takes place ahead of the UN Human Rights Council Sessions due to commence on 27 February, analysts say.

However, President’s Special Envoy for Human Rights, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has noted that the LLRC report would not be presented to the Council.

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