Washington to remain engaged with Colombo, hopes for progress on Human Rights

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 April 2008, 13:35 GMT]
Don Camp, the principal assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, visited Colombo this week and met with Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama, SL Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe, Secretary to the SL Ministry of Defense Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. "Many of the issues we discuss are difficult ones, particularly on human rights and the resolution of the conflict, but the U.S. will remain engaged in the hope of seeing progress." Mr. Camp was quoted by the U.S. Embassy.

A press statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo on Mr. Camp's visit, follows:

Senior U.S. State Department Official Visits Sri Lanka April 20-22

Colombo, April 22, 2008: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Don Camp visited Colombo April 20-22 as part of the U.S. Government’s regular, ongoing consultations with the Sri Lankan Government. During his visit, Mr. Camp met with senior Government of Sri Lanka officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, and Secretary to the Ministry of Justice Suhada Gamalath. He also met with leading political figures, civil society leaders, and business representatives.

Characterizing his meetings as “useful and frank, in the way of long time friends” Mr. Camp also said, “We value the dialogue we continue to have with the government, as well as the lines of communication we maintain with Sri Lanka’s political, business, and civil society leaders. Many of the issues we discuss are difficult ones, particularly on human rights and the resolution of the conflict, but the U.S. will remain engaged in the hope of seeing progress." Mr. Camp also welcomed initial measures to demobilize TMVP child soldiers, urged progress on human rights, and stressed the importance of free and fair elections in the East, without violence or intimidation.

Mr. Camp's first Foreign Service posting was to the U.S. Embassy in Colombo in the late 1970s, and he served here again briefly as Chargé d’Affaires in 2003.

 

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