2ND LEAD

US letter urges soft approach to Rajapakse rights violations

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 September 2012, 02:15 GMT]
Thirty one U.S. Congresspersons, during the closing sessions before the US elections, in a letter to the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, urged her and her colleagues to "purposefully and dynamically engage with the Government of Sri Lanka in advancing reconciliation and accountability and a return to peaceful stability." While Tamil diaspora widely regard the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O. Blake, as the chief architect for the Sri Lanka policy which resulted in the Mu'l'livaaykaal massacre, the soft approach adopted by the Congresspersons calling for reconciliation, and subtly dropping "International" from Independent investigations, has brought criticism over giving Rajapakse's further space to avoid scrutiny for the alleged perpetration of international crimes on Tamil civilians.

The letter, however, points to the Senate Resolution 84 passed in 2011 which called for Independent International Investigations into "reports of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both sides during the war."

"The findings and recommendations of such investigations are meaningless if they result in hollow rhetoric and empty promises that fail to move the reconciliation process forward in Sri Lanka," the letter adds, emphasizing reconciliation.

The letter also notes that "[t]hus far, there is no indication that the UNHRC resolution has had any significant impact on the Sri Lankan government' response to the issue," and cautions that without "strong oversight from the State Department," it will be easy for the Rajapaksa administration to "make excuses for failing to adhere to its obligations [in the UNHRC resolution] during the March 2013 session.

 

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