A top Obama Administration official said the US is not satisfied with the manner in which the Sri Lankan government has handled the issue of former Sri Lankan Army chief General Sarath Fonseka's arrest and hoped that Colombo would follow the rules of the land in this case.
"So far I think it has been less than we might have hoped for, but we have certainly encouraged the government of Sri Lanka to ensure that he is charged promptly, as you said, and that everything is handled in accordance with Sri Lankan law as they move forward," the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake told BBC.
Blake, who was the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka earlier, refrained to make any comment on the charges against General Fonseka saying that he has not seen them.
"We have encouraged the government to make public as quickly as possible what those charges are," he said.
At the same time he said Sri Lankans themselves have spoken about the manner in which General Fonseka was arrested.
Several monks, for example, several Buddhist monks have noted that this was handled in a very unprofessional and undignified way, Blake said.
"In our view, I think, one of the highest priorities now is first, to complete the resettlement of the internally displaced people. About 180,000 have been sent back from the camps, but approximately 100,000 still remain.
"So I think it's important for them to be allowed to return to their homes and villages in the north as quickly as possible," Blake said.
Responding to a question on Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, Blake said it is important for the government to pursue as quickly as possible this process of national reconciliation and power sharing, particularly with the north.
"Then as part of that national reconciliation process, to begin a process of accountability for many of the human rights abuses that may have occurred during that war.
"And third, to again talk about the larger issue of possible war crimes that may have occurred. Again, that will be an important part of the larger reconciliation piece," Blake said.
Observing that Sri Lanka has a very proud democratic tradition, Blake said "One aspect of democracy, of course, is respect for human rights. I think there can be, there needs to be improvements in that area. We have spoken particularly about the importance of greater respect for freedom of the media and freedom of the press." (PTI)
LTTE killed innocent people, infants, children, women in thousands. Where were you when LTTE killed who were meditating in Anuradhepura. In negotiation meetings at least once did you ask LTTE to respect human-rights. Why only now? The word human rights should not use in terrorism. Terrorist do not respect human-rights of anybody else.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 10:41 AM
Mr Blake you're a fake and we don't like your hyprocritical nature either. Look at your own flawed background first before levelling charges against us. We couldn't bother with your comical remarks
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 10:44 AM
Dear Blake, The fact that You are unhappy simply proves the government is doing the right thing.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 04:30 AM
Well Robert, we not happy with you and your country either for not taking care of IDPs situation in Afganistan during your recent offensive. I mean, do you expect us to buy your bogus 'sorry' for leveling air strikes on civilians in the past few days?
We the world would really like for your country to conduct your own war crimes investigations...starting with the 100,000 deaths with the flick of a switch dropping an atomic bomb.
I mean really there are more pressing issues you and your own country should deal with before meddling in other country's affairs.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 08:21 AM
Nalin, sad to burst your bubble, but not all comments are against what Mr. Blake said. This attitude of our nation needs to stop. The propaganda that the government spouted has brainwashed all of us. Everything that a foreign person says is not against us. For us Sri Lankan's, its okay to get money from foreign nations, but when they make remarks, we get completely angry about it. The truth is, the factors that led to start of the LTTE still remain; the government still does not respect human rights or due course of law. I, as a concerned citizen am very sad at the direction that the governance of this country is headed to. You should be too.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 11:11 AM
Good to see all commenter s are together on this matter
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