U.S wants Lanka to act soon

Posner during the live Facebook chat

EXCLUSIVE: The United States says the government must act quickly on a number of recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

U.S Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael H. Posner said that the U.S is also particularly interested in efforts to demilitarize areas in the north of the country.

“Our hope is that the government will act quickly to respond to a number of the recommendations in the lessons learned commission and those are subjects we discussed with the Foreign Minister during his recent visit,” Posner told the Colombo Gazette.

He was responding to questions posed during a live chat on Facebook organized by the U.S State Department.

Posner’s office had this week released the annual human rights report for 201i which had a section on Sri Lanka.

The report noted several incidents of human rights abuses in 2011 in Sri Lanka and the failure by the government to address some concerns.

Posner told the Colombo Gazette that the U.S is continuing to engage with the Sri Lankan government on human rights issues even after the vote on the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council recently which was sponsored by the U.S government.

He also said that his government is keen to see the demilitarization of the north and dialogue between the Tamil community and the Sri Lankan government.

“We are particularly interested in efforts to demilitarize areas in the north and for the government to engage more openly with members of the Tamil community and Tamil civil society,” he said.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his victory day speech this month, said the government will not withdraw troops or shut military camps in the north.  (Colombo Gazette)