US Senate Foreign Relations urges Sri Lanka to help IDPs
Washington: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a joint statement today to mark the end of fighting in Sri Lanka with the government’s victory over the LTTE.
Committee chairman John Kerry along with other members stated, “We welcome the news that Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war has been brought to a close. For the past twenty-six years, the people of Sri Lanka have suffered enormously from a conflict that appeared intractable. Some 70,000 were killed, many more injured, and countless others were uprooted and forced to flee the violence. In recent months, civilians in the north-eastern part of the island have faced terrible hardship, and exceptionally difficult conditions still persist for hundreds of thousands that have been internally displaced. The scale of the suffering has been obscured by denial of access to humanitarian workers, journalists, and most other outside observers.”
The statement further says, “Today can be a turning point for the people of Sri Lanka. The government has a chance to forge a long-term political solution, one that acknowledges the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankans, including Sinhalese, Tamils, and other groups. This means taking steps toward reconciliation and justice, including devolution of power to local bodies as provided for by the constitution of Sri Lanka. It will not be easy, but we are looking to the leaders of the Government of Sri Lanka to move the country forward in peace after more than a quarter-century of conflict.”
The Committee urged the government of Sri Lanka to take steps to alleviate the humanitarian crisis of internally displaced persons by facilitating humanitarian access to the government camps.
– Asian Tribune –