VIDEO: Reduce role and profile of military in North – Blake
September 14, 2012 04:36 pm
The United States today reiterated calls for reducing military presence in the North and the need for accelerated progress to implement the recommendations of the LLRC and the National Action Plan.
The visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake stated that he had positive meetings with External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and civil society.
“I discussed in all our meetings the need for accelerated progress to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and the National Action Plan,” Blake said at a press conference in Colombo.
He emphasized the importance of progress in reducing the role and profile of the military in the North, and full respect for human rights.
“On issues of accountability, it is our hope that three years after the end of the conflict, there can be a credible and transparent accounting, investigation and prosecution of some of the outstanding and serious allegations of human rights violations, as well as progress on the missing,” the US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Affairs said.
He also urged that the Northern Provincial Council elections be held as soon as possible and encouraged an early resumption of talks between the TNA and the government to agree on powers to be devolved to the provinces.