US expresses concern over Sri Lanka violence
The United States also welcomes the decision of the Sri Lankan government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to return to talks.Updated: Oct 12, 2006 12:11 IST
The United States has welcomed the decision of the Sri Lankan government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to return to talks at the end of the month in Geneva but expressed concern that the ongoing violence could jeopardise the proposed dialogue.
In a statement, the US State Department also said that it is imperative that human rights be respected and protected all over Sri Lanka.
"We call on both sides to cease hostilities immediately and foster an environment that is conducive to holding productive discussions in Geneva.
We also urge both sides to ensure that non-government entities involved in humanitarian relief efforts are provided access to conflict-affected areas," State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack.
"It is imperative that human rights be respected and protected in all areas of Sri Lanka," he said.
"We welcome the Government's initiative in creating a Commission of Inquiry on human rights and encourage the Government to reach agreement with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry that will meet international standards," he added.
"The United States strongly supports the ongoing Norwegian peace facilitation efforts.
We continue to coordinate closely with the other Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donors' Conference to find a way forward to an end to the violence and human rights violations in Sri Lanka and a return to negotiations between the parties," McCormack said.
First Published: Oct 12, 2006 12:11 IST