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US presses Sri Lanka over human rights

[AFP, Friday, 13 April 2012 09:10 One Comment]

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton AFP US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on Friday urged Sri Lanka to build a "democratic nation" with full respect for human rights as it emerges from decades of ethnic war.

Clinton’s message, coinciding with the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year, came weeks after the UN Human Rights Council adopted a US-tabled resolution urging Colombo to probe war crimes charges related to its 2009 defeat of Tamil rebels.

Sri Lanka condemned the resolution as wanton interference in its internal affairs.

"This (new year) celebration brings people together," Clinton said.

"It also gives Sri Lankans of all backgrounds … an opportunity to help build a prosperous, democratic nation defined by tolerance and respect for human rights."

Clinton stressed US willingness to support the island’s efforts "to foster national reconciliation and development."

Rights groups have said that up to 40,000 civilians were killed in the final offensive by Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese-dominated military against Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.

The two communities share a common new year marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the monsoon.

The resolution adopted in Geneva urged Sri Lanka to probe war crimes charges, implement the recommendations of a domestic inquiry into the war and seek UN help for reconciliation with the ethnic Tamil minority.

Colombo has denied its troops were responsible for any non-combatant deaths and refused to allow any independent probe into allegations of military excesses.

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One Comment »

  • Raja Perera said:

    US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton knows what happened in the past, what is happening in the present and what will happen in the future. With sll these she is urging the Sri Lankan Government to do what they denied all these days. Her urging is in preparation for the next step. It happened in Egypt, Libya and now in Syria. There can’t be a lessons learnt for Sri Lanka. The Politicians in Power in Sri Lanka have over rated their Might and Power and very soon will fall into the “MUD PIT” and won’t be able to come out of it or stand straight after this. The Supreme power has been tested. The Nature is going to burst. Who can stop the Tsunami once it is given the “Go” singnal?