Feb 01, Colombo: The United States today reiterated its determination to bring a third resolution on Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this March that will call for an international investigation into the alleged war crimes.
Addressing a media conference on Saturday following her visit to the Northern Province, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Desai Biswal said the international community's patience is wearing thin over Sri Lanka's slow progress in achieving reconciliation and addressing accountability for alleged war crimes.
She said although the US still has hopes on a domestic process for reconciliation the US will table a third resolution at the UNHRC sessions.
However, responding to media the top US official said there is currently no talk of imposing economic sanctions on Sri Lanka over the human rights issue.
Biswal who arrived in the island on Friday met with Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris, Economic development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe before heading to the North to meet Tamil leaders.
Minister Peiris during his meeting with the US official cautioned that relentless pursuit on Sri Lanka by the US through the UNHRC would only hinder the reconciliation and polarize the communities further and the US action has further strengthened the hardliners.
Biswal has noted that there is a growing frustration in the international community that Sri Lanka will not use the opportunity provided by the end of the conflict to move forward towards reconciliation.
During her visit to Jaffna, the top US official met with Bishop of Jaffna Thomas Savundranayagam and Tamil National Alliance politicians including Northern Provincial councilor Anandi Shashitharan.
The US official will leave for London after her three-day visit to the island tomorrow and in London she is scheduled to meet British government officials to discuss the resolution against Sri Lanka. The UK is expected to co-sponsor the resolution at the UN Human Rights Council.
The UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to use UK's position in the UNHRC to pass the resolution if Sri Lanka does not start by March 2014 an independent, credible and transparent domestic process to investigate the alleged war crimes during the final phase of the conflict .
Biswal will also travel to Geneva, for meetings regarding US government's intention to sponsor the resolution.
According to the State Department, the third resolution will build upon previous resolutions in 2012 and 2013, and will urge Sri Lanka to do more to promote reconciliation, justice and accountability in the wake of the civil conflict.
Sri Lanka has been adamant not to allow any outside probes into the alleged human right violations saying that its domestic process LLRC is sufficient to address the accountability issue and the government is doing its best to implement the recommendations.
Sri Lanka's top most civil servant, Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, who was in Washington recently to hold discussions with State Department officials on the U.S. resolution said an international inquiry into war crimes in Sri Lanka would bring "chaos," and the government's national reconciliation process must be given several more years to work.