The US Assistant Secretary of state for South Asia, Robert Blake today maintained that the UN report on Sri Lanka underscores the importance of a durable political solution’ and for a dialogue between the UN and the Government of Sri Lanka.
Addressing the media following a two day visit in the country Mr. Blake stressed that the report supported a political solution that could ‘forge a prosperous, democratic and united Sri Lanka.’ Dismissing alleged claims of a US support towards ‘regime change’ in Sri Lanka, he expressed hope that the External Affairs Minister Peiris will communicate ‘soon’ with the UN Secretary General on the report.
Explaining the position of US with regard to accountability on the concerns raised in the UN report he noted that ‘the US has continually expressed to the govt. of Sri Lanka the importance of implementing a credible and independent processes to ensure accountability.
“Domestic authorities have a responsibility to assure that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law are held accountable. International mechanisms can become appropriate in cases where states are unable or unwilling to meet their obligations.
“We look first to host governments to take responsibility for these issues and we hope that they will do so,’ he added, asked if the US would look at its own mechanism to address the concerns raised in the report.
Responding to the controversies with regard to the killing of Osama Bin Laden by US forces Mr. Blake stressed that he was an armed terrorist engaged in armed conflict against the US.
‘He was therefore a lawful target under the laws of conflict and therefore we stand by our actions and we believe that his death represents an important step for our fight and international fight against terrorism.’
Asked if the death of Osama Bin Laden was treated differently to that of Prabhakaran by the US government, he stressed that both Prabakaran and Bin Laden will ‘go down in history’ as the most ruthless terrorist leaders.
‘Certainly Osama has more directly targeted the US so his capture has been a particular priority to us, so his death marks one of the most significant accomplishment in our decades long fight against Al Queida.
“Prabakaran was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Sri Lankans and the US was one of the first countries to stand with Sri Lanka to designate the LTTE as a terror organization, and we consistently supported all efforts against the LTTE.
“With regard to Prabhakaran’s end, I don’t really know. Nobody really knows, and that underscores the importance of the domestic authorities here taking responsibility for these issues and certainly my government won’t mourn the passing of Prabakaran as he was one of the worst terrorist leaders in the world.’
Claiming that ‘much more’ remained to be done with regard to reconstruction in the North, Mr. Blake however noted that the government ‘has made some positive progress. ‘It is very important that this progress be sustained,’ he said, citing the role of the LLRC in the reconciliation process. ‘We hope that the LLRC will also address accountability and will offer recommendations on how to redress wrongs committed by both sides
during the conflict.
‘There is much more to be done in the political side. We hope that the government will give importance to the dialogue that is ongoing now with the TNA. We hope there will be a comprehensive report on all issues of importance to the Tamil people,’ he added.
He cited issues such as both ‘devolution’ as well as information on those who remained in detention, a ‘full accounting’ of those who died and land tenure. ‘We hope there can be a fair arbitration about who really owns these lands. There are great many issues still to be addressed. The government is committed to a sincere dialogue with the TNA, but the proof will be in results and not promises,’ he added.
He stressed that these issues will ‘remain a high priority’ for the US government, expressing hope that concrete progress will be made on these.
Mr. Blake noted the nearly all of the 300,000 IDPs resettled from the camps with the remaining scheduled to be resettled by the end of 2011, demining and the reduction of high security zones as some of the areas where significant progress has been made.
Mr. Blake met with Defense Secretary Rajapaksa and External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris, members of the opposition, and representatives of civil society and visited Killinochchi and Mullaitivu today.
Meanwhile the External Affairs Ministry in a communiqué issued yesterday noted that a clear distinction has to be made between the Advisory Panel and the United Nations and that the report had no stature as a UN document.
Prasad Wimalagunarat Wednesday, 04 May 2011 02:32 PM
Please don't change the statement.
true Wednesday, 04 May 2011 02:37 PM
Ragi Wednesday, 04 May 2011 03:05 PM
Belekkaya Wednesday, 04 May 2011 03:49 PM
Dan Wednesday, 04 May 2011 04:27 PM
Who the hell you are here...with guns and bombs in your hand ..trying to dictate soveriegn state.... we will look after our problem...if you want to address tamil issue take them all to USA.
Takaran Joe Wednesday, 04 May 2011 04:20 PM
Be cautious Mr Blake, once you get back home you have to pacify anti-MR crowd as well!
freehit Wednesday, 04 May 2011 04:48 PM
Oh yeah !? Neither did you support a regime change in Iraq !!
Cracko-Jacko Wednesday, 04 May 2011 05:05 PM
"It was quite clearly a violation of international law," said high-profile Australian human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson on the manner of killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Pandula Thursday, 05 May 2011 03:02 AM
Thanks Rassia & China
Nicky Karunarathna Thursday, 05 May 2011 05:10 AM
How dare you talk about regime change in other countries when you go on murdering unarmed people with gruesome manner where even photo cannot be shown to the world of the dead man? Your poetic Justice been seen with your nakedness. Your president and your country ideal to win more Noble Peace prizes with the way you go on killing unarmed, defenceless people. I think regime change have to start from US!
GanjaRabbit Thursday, 05 May 2011 08:07 AM
clearly if SL needs a regime change it's SL's own problem. The US should keep their nose out of it. The US keeps barging into other peoples affairs like old village women.
Yehiya-Doha Thursday, 05 May 2011 01:29 PM
Dear Mr. Bleak, Look the people voice. Politicians are playing fool game. There knowledge is limited. We need peaceful country with all nation equal status.
lasanthv Thursday, 05 May 2011 02:56 PM
yea, 50% ok 2nd Sri lanka 3th china must regime change.
jack Friday, 06 May 2011 04:37 AM
If Sri lanka has an option between getting rid of mosquitoes in the country or getting rid of Robert Blake, I would say get rid of Robert Blake :P
CS Friday, 06 May 2011 06:40 AM
Take it with a pinch of salt
Nihal Amarasekera Friday, 06 May 2011 10:39 AM
This man is to be believed.
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