Rapp in Sri Lanka next week

RappA top US State department official is to visit Sri Lanka next week amidst war crimes allegations being raised against the Sri Lankan military.

Ambassador-at-Large for war crimes issues at the US State Department, Stephen J. Rapp is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on Sunday, the US Embassy in Colombo said on Tuesday.

The Embassy however said that the schedule of the visit by the US official has not yet been confirmed but he is expected to have talks with high level officials in the Sri Lankan government.

Last week another US delegation, including US Deputy Assistant Secretary, South and Central Asian Affairs Dr Alyssa Ayres met the Sri Lankan military in the northern town of Kilinochchi.

The Sri Lankan army said that Major General A.W.J.C. de Silva, the army Commander of the Security Forces Headquarters in Kilinochchi briefed the US delegation on various development and security roles of the troops.

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary, Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Thomas Melia also attended the discussion and received a briefing on various development, humanitarian, resettlement and community projects being pursued by the Army.

Sri Lanka troops defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 but since then the Sri Lankan government has been facing accusations of committing war crimes during the conflict.

The Sri Lankan government had later appointed a local commission to investigate some of the allegations.


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