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* US delegation to Sri Lanka meets Opposition Leader, visits North
Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 08:43 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 28, Colombo: A delegation of three senior officials of the United States visiting Sri Lanka met with the Opposition Leader of the country today.

The US delegation led by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Moore and comprising Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Vikram Singh, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jane Zimmerman held discussions with the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe today at the official residence of the Colombo Mayor.

According to the media unit of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) the discussions focused on the country's human rights situation as well as on the recent impeachment of the former chief justice.

Wickremasinghe has apprised the delegation of the current developments in the country and had offered his plans for the future in the event the opposition comes to power.

The US delegation, which arrived in the island on Saturday (January 26), toured the Jaffna peninsula Sunday to observe the progress in the region.

The US officials accompanied by the US Ambassador to Colombo Michele Sison met with the Commander Security Forces Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J), Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe.

The Commander has provided the delegation with a full account on the situation in the peninsula in terms of security, economic development, rehabilitation, resettlement and social integration, the Defense Ministry said.

The SFHQ-J Commander has told the delegation that a majority of Jaffna people are behind the government's post-war development programmers and aware of diverse services and assistance, being provided by the troops in Jaffna.

Prior to their visit to the Tamil heartland, the delegation met the leaders of the key Tamil minority political party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and discussed the issues faced by the Tamils in the north and the east.

The TNA delegation led by R. Sampanthan and including parliamentarians M.A. Sumanthiran and S. Sridharan had met the US officials at the residence of US Ambassador in Colombo.

Sampanthan has told the US officials that the government is reluctant to fulfill the political aspirations of the Tamils, and implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

During the discussion the Tamil party has pointed out that there has been hardly any move in implementing the LLRC or addressing the grievances of the people in the North and East.

The visiting US officials are also expected to meet senior Sri Lankan government officials during their seven-day visit to Sri Lanka and Maldives.

The delegation is on a mission to mainly assess the progress on implementing measures recommended by the country's own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).



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