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'UN report important for political solution'

The expert panel's report to United Nation on accountability in Sri Lanka emphasises how important a durable political solution was for Sri Lanka, a senior US official said in Colombo today.

world Updated: May 04, 2011 19:19 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The expert panel's report to United Nation (UN) on accountability in Sri Lanka emphasises how important a durable political solution was for Sri Lanka, a senior US official said in Colombo on Wednesday.

The report, he added, also emphasises that a political solution could bring together a democratic and prosperous Sri Lanka, he added.

"The UN report underscores the importance of a durable political solution that can forge a prosperous, democratic and united Sri Lanka I, but also the importance of dialogue between the UN and the Government of Sri Lanka," Robert O Blake, assistant secretary of state, said in Colombo.

On May 18, it will be two years since the war between government troops and separatist Tamil rebels, who had long alleged institutionalised discrimination against their community, ended in victory for the military.

Blake said he was encouraged that External Affairs Minister GL Peiris would communicate soon with the UN Secretary General and by his statement that Sri Lanka wants cordial relations with the Secretary General and his team.

The Lankan government has dismissed the report, which accuses both Colombo and the Tamil Tiger rebels of killing "tens of thousands of civilians" in the last phase of the war. "The report had no stature as an UN document," the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated in a statement released about Blake's visit on Wednesday.

On recent developments in Sri Lanka, Blake, former ambassador here, said the government-appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was playing an important role in the reconciliation process.

"We hope that the LLRC will also address accountability and will offer recommendations on how to redress wrongs committed by both sides during the conflict," Blake said.

International human rights agencies have repeatedly said the LLRC doesn't meet the parameters of an independent enquiry into a civil war and war crimes.

The US official added that he was hopeful that talks between the government and the Tamil National Alliance would "result in a comprehensive agreement that can help Sri Lanka heal the wounds of war and ensure that all Sri Lankans enjoy equal rights and a future of hope and opportunity."

The US is helping Sri Lanka's post-war development in many ways including demining and aiding fishermen to start fresh in northern areas.