TNA and Rapp hold talks

Ahead of a key UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session where the US may move an anti-Sri Lanka resolution, leaders of the main Tamil party on Tuesday met visiting US diplomat Stephen Rapp and discussed matters relating to the minority community.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan and the party’s national list MP M A Sumanthiran held talks with Rapp, the US Ambassador at Large on Global Criminal Justice who is on a 4-day visit to the island nation.

Several matters related to the problems faced by the minority Tamils were discussed at the meeting, a TNA release said.

Rapp’s visit assumes significance against the backdrop of accusations by Colombo that the US was trying to coax governments to support its possible anti-Sri Lanka resolution at the UNHRC session in Geneva later this month..

The proposed resolution is likely to be based on a letter sent to Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G L Peiris by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on January 27 emphasising the need for implementing recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

Two more US officials who would be visiting Colombo over the weekend are Under Secretary for Civilian Security Democracy and Human Rights Marie Otero and Assistant Secretary for Central and South Asian Affairs Robert Blake. (PTI)