July 13, 2016 4:26:27 pm
Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party on Wednesday raised concerns over release of political prisoners and lands in the Tamil north with US officials visiting the country.
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski are on tour for political engagements with the Sri Lankan government.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) sources said they met Biswal and discussed the issue of political prisoners and release of lands in the Tamil-dominated north.
They had also discussed the lapses in implementing the UN Human Rights Council resolution of October last year which US had cosponsored with Sri Lanka.
The resolution in the main called for the setting up a war crimes inquiry into alleged rights abuses during the final phase of the civil war that ended in May, 2009.
Sri Lanka since its adoption have resisted calls to accommodate foreign judges in the tribunal which the TNA insists must be implemented in order to have a fair trial and delivering justice to the conflict affected.
Biswal told the TNA the US will help the government to meet challenges it faces in implementing the Geneva resolution.
Both Biswal and Malinowski during their talks with foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera had expressed their commitment to partner with Sri Lanka in the island’s post-war reconciliation process.
“The US has welcomed the deepening of the ties between our two countries. The US and Sri Lanka share common goals. We are partners and today our relations are at an all time high,” Biswal said.
Malinowski while noting the concrete steps made by Sri Lanka in its reform and reconciliation agenda said that the US will give Sri Lanka economic support which will help the reconciliation process.
“What is happening in Sri Lanka is so important to people around the world,” he added noting the conflicts taking place in other countries at a time Sri Lanka is rebuilding after over 30 years of civil war.