US diplomat meets Rajapakse, Wickremasinghe, Hakim

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 October 2006, 16:19 GMT]
Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs Thursday held discussions with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. The discussions were centred on the proposed peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and on human rights situation in the country, diplomatic sources in Colombo said.

Richard Boucher
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher. (Photo:AFP)
The discussion lasted for about an hour, Colombo sources said.

Mr.Richard Boucher later met with Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP). Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe is said to have briefed the US diplomat about the progress between the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP) and his party forging a national consensus giving top priority to solving the ethnic conflict.

Richard Boucher also met with Rauff Hakim, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). Mr.Rauff Hakim is understood to have stressed the importance in giving due place to the Muslim community by accommodating a separate delegation in the proposed peace talks.

Richard Boucher is to visit Trincomalee Friday and hold discussions with civil leaders and government officials.

He is to address a press conference in Colombo before concluding his two-day visit to Sri Lanka.

Richard Boucher arrived in Colombo on Thursday morning.

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