Sept 13, Colombo: The United States expressed concern over the alleged human rights abuses still taking place in Sri Lanka years after the armed conflict ended and questioned whether it needs more active involvement in addressing the issue.
During the U.S. Senate confirmation hearing of Nisha Desai Biswal, the Obama nominee for the Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs position, U.S. Republican Senator John McCain commented that continuous reports from human rights organizations indicate that significant right abuses in Sri Lanka against the Tamils has risen to a very disturbing level.
He asked the Obama nominee whether the U.S. should be more active in condemning these ongoing serious abuses.
Responding to Senator McCain, Biswal said the U.S. has been "very active and very engaged" with Sri Lanka and the international community in expressing its concern about both accountability and reconciliation between minority and majority populations.
"We have made it clear that if Sri Lanka does not address through its own internal process there would be increasing calls for international processes to address these issues," she informed.
U.S. President Barack Obama in July nominated Indian-American Biswal to head the South Asia bureau in the US State Department.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Thursday (September 12) concluded the hearing to examine her nomination for the post of Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs. The post is currently held by Robert Orris Blake, Jr., the former ambassador to Sri Lanka. Blake has been nominated as the Ambassador to Indonesia.