No Talk Of Sanctions, Says US

The United States says there is no talk of imposing economic sanctions on Sri Lanka over the human rights issue.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal told reporters yesterday that the US will submit a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva next month.

However she did not reveal the contents of the proposed resolution saying it was too early to discuss the text.

She said that while there was support for a domestic process in Sri Lanka to investigate alleged human rights abuses committed during the war, the patience of the international community was wearing thin.

She also raised concerns over attacks on places of worship and over people who met foreign dignitaries in the past being intimidated.

The top US official had talks with External Affairs Minister Professor G. L. Peiris and other government and opposition members in Colombo during her visit, including the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and she also travelled to Jaffna and met the Jaffna Bishop, among others.

Biswal will now travel to London for meetings with officials from the UK government. Britain is to co-sponsor the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council.

Biswal will also travel to Geneva for meetings on the US intention to sponsor the resolution on Sri Lanka in the March session of the UN Human Rights Council. Biswal said that she will have a meeting with the Indian envoy based in Geneva.

The US resolution on Sri Lanka will build upon previous resolutions in 2012 and 2013, and will urge Sri Lanka to do more to promote reconciliation, justice and accountability in the wake of the civil conflict.


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