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Video: New US envoy to prioritise HR in SL

7 June 2012 05:32 am - 32     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The nominee to be the next US ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Sison says human rights will be at the top of her agenda.

Sison said on Wednesday that serious allegations of violation of international human rights law committed during the island nation's civil war have yet to be investigated and have slowed reconciliation.

"One cannot have true reconciliation, general reconciliation, without that accountability," Sison told her Senate confirmation hearing.

A UN report found that thousands died and that Sri Lankan troops deliberately targeted civilians. It said Tamil rebels used civilians as human shields.

Democrat Senator Robert Casey urged an independent investigation into alleged war crimes, saying the issue would not go away "until the world sees results”.

He said Sri Lanka has yet to implement recommendations made six months ago by its own reconciliation commission, and cited figures from the Switzerland-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, that nearly 100,000 Tamils are still displaced. He said the military presence in the island's north and east was obstructing their resettlement.

Sison said the US was looking for "near term progress" by Sri Lanka, particularly in setting a date for provincial elections in the country's north and demilitarisation of former conflict zones.

Human rights issues, including protection of civil society and a free media, "will be on the top of my agenda”, she said.

Sison also said that if confirmed, she would be a vigorous advocate for US commercial interests in Sri Lanka.(PTI)

  Comments - 32

  • Saskia Thursday, 07 June 2012 10:43 AM

    Very good. I would give you a warm welcome.

    athula Friday, 08 June 2012 10:42 AM

    true , this is the correct response to the usual worry of US.

    Kondebandapucheena Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:02 AM

    Really,Where in Afghanistan or Iraq

    Upali Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:05 AM

    Come on Her Excellency, We are in need of one like for a long time. In Iraq there have been war crimes,genocide, human rights and humanitarian law violations, cultural destruction and straitfoward muders taking place. You would be the vehicle to convey our concerns to the world and help the Iraqi people out of misary.

    Aceman Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:14 AM

    Welcome to Sri Lanka. Please leave your 'Holier than Thou' Attitude at the door, and remember that interfering in a sovereign country's affairs is not appreciated and needed.
    ..And you might actually enjoy your time here!

    lal Thursday, 07 June 2012 11:55 AM

    Buffaloa, since when did US prosecute their soldiers for thousands of their own atrocities? Their legal system and the govt investigates some but pardons the guilty soldiers..

    Saman Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:22 AM

    Mind ur business.

    true Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:22 AM

    The usual SL response. The guilty saying that many others are guilty too.

    Aiyanayaka Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:27 AM

    you keep your agenda...we are doing according to our agenda...

    jacoob Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:27 AM


    You worry about Iraqi that's fine .. why do not show a fraction of that to your countrymen and worry about the abuses and cruelties they have just undergone ??

    David Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:35 AM

    Everyone concerns about human rights in Sri Lanka. If you talk about human rights you may also expelled.

    Fusion Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:37 AM

    I just hope this is not just 'all talk'. It would be great if the US can improve HR issues at the same time increase US commercial interests in SL. I would love to see some US Tech related investment. But we Sri Lankans for decades have been let down by leaders home & abroad

    justin Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:45 AM

    Who cares?

    Tilak Friday, 08 June 2012 12:38 PM

    Better to start from Your boss Obama then come to Srilanka with that report then u are welcome.

    Gona Thursday, 07 June 2012 07:40 AM

    Are u saying the west is not Guilty of war crimes in Iraq and AF?

    ANURA Thursday, 07 June 2012 07:37 AM

    Madam, your country U.S.A had so far committed the most number of humanrights violations and that being the case it is a pity that you talk about human rights issues in SriLanka.Those who are in glass houses should not try to throw stones at others.

    Tilak Friday, 08 June 2012 12:43 PM

    Why don,t U get down Pillai Madam with advise from Hilary Clinton.

    Imran Hussein Thursday, 07 June 2012 07:43 AM

    Thats what exactly she is going to do.

    Indeewara Friday, 08 June 2012 02:41 AM

    Dear madam.......why not in the countries which you stationed US army,(Afghanistan,Iraq Etc)

    Gopi Thursday, 07 June 2012 07:52 AM

    This is her agenda. we will see how dare you are to expel her from Sri Lanka. And this may be your agenda.

    sam Thursday, 07 June 2012 08:19 AM

    I dont think she will listen to us when we try to explain that the US is a bigger HR offender.

    sujeewa p Thursday, 07 June 2012 08:18 AM

    persona non grata

    sujeewa p Thursday, 07 June 2012 08:50 AM

    Madam will you open your own cuberd and see first.

    Just Another Citizen Friday, 08 June 2012 04:04 AM

    Everyone criticizes the west and everyone else except out our own. True that countries should practice what they preach but then so should our so called patriots.

    Jeewan Thursday, 07 June 2012 09:13 AM

    We are awaiting you to make your life miserable here.

    buffaloa citizen Thursday, 07 June 2012 09:22 AM

    It is because USA has not denied and been accountable for all the violations they have committed.

    buffaloa citizen Thursday, 07 June 2012 09:25 AM

    Welcome. We need more of your calibre to put things right where they are wrong.

    wewala Thursday, 07 June 2012 09:59 AM

    Pilotless drones or missiles killing humans , trigger happy whitehouse. Those killed humans seems to have NO rights.

    Trehan Munasinghe Thursday, 07 June 2012 10:15 AM

    Once she has some Ceylon Tea and some Kottu she will fall into place.. Just usual rhetoric by people about to visit Sri Lanka

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