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On Sri Lanka, US Rapp Disappointed on Accountability, Watching Pillay Go

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 11 -- When the US Ambassador at Large on War Crimes Issues, Stephen J. Rapp, appeared at the UN on June 11, Inner City Press asked him about accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka, particularly four years ago in 2009. Video here from Minute 21:11.

  Rapp said that the US sponsored two resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council in March 2012 and March 2013 which "express our disappointment that provisions of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission haven't been implemented, in regard reconciliation... between Tamil and major communities in Sri Lanka and particular disappointment on accountability for the alleged grave atrocities near the end of the conflict on both sides."

  With UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay now scheduled to visit Sri Lanka, Rapp said that the most recent resolution invites Pillay "and the Special Rapporteurs to work with" Sri Lanka's Rapapaksa government "to overcome these deficits."

  Rapp said the US will be "watching that very carefully" to decide what steps are necessary. Video here from Minute 22:57.

  Inner City Press has begun inquiring with Indian diplomats at the UN about the possible appointment by Manmohan Singh of a special envoy on devolution in Sri Lanka, based on India's role in the 13th Amendment in 1987. We hope to have more on this soon. Watch this site.

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