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Sri Lanka should reconcile with Tamils: US

Associated Press
Mar 14, 2012 at 07:38am IST

Washington: The United States on Tuesday said that unless Sri Lankan government reconciles with minority Tamils and addresses allegations of war crimes it risks renewed conflict.

Thousands of Tamil civilians died in the final months of its civil war that ended in 2009. The US has introduced a draft resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, increasing international pressure on Sri Lanka to conduct an independent investigation.

The council in Geneva is expected to vote next week on the resolution that stops short of demanding an outside probe, but has angered Sri Lanka, which claims it could stir separatism.

Sri Lanka should reconcile with Tamils: US

Government supporters shout slogans during a street march, in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Monday, February 27, 2012. Thousands of people in towns and cities across Sri Lanka on Monday took to streets to protest against a proposed UN Human Rights Council resolution on alleged human rights abuses during the country's civil war. (Associated Press)

Robert Blake, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, said that accountability and reconciliation was in Sri Lanka's best interests, so "they really can achieve peace and security and not sow anger in their own community that could give rise to new violence."

"Experience in many civil conflicts around the world has shown that countries that don't take adequate measures to address reconciliation and accountability frequently experience a regeneration of the insurgency that they faced," he told The Associated Press. "We could see very much that similar situation in Sri Lanka."

The resolution calls on Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by both the government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in the final months of the quarter-century war, and implement recommendations of its own reconciliation panel.

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