May 21, Colombo: The United States House of Representatives has called on the Sri Lankan government and the major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to begin negotiations to reach a long-term political solution that would ensure for a peaceful and unified Sri Lanka.
A House Resolution submitted to the 113th Congress by Democratic Congressman of New Jersey Rush Holt calls on the TNA to acknowledge its past relationships with the LTTE terrorist group and make a firm commitment to reconciliation.
H.Res. 587, co-signed by the Republican congressman Bill Johnson of Ohio, and Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts John Tierney, was submitted to the Congress on May 19.
The resolution expresses support for internal rebuilding, resettlement, accountability, and reconciliation within Sri Lanka so that Sri Lankans from all ethnic and religious communities may benefit from the end of the country's long lasted war against terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
In addition to the usual concerns and requests on reconciliation and accountability, the H. Res. 587 recommends that the Department of State place restrictions on entry to the United States for anyone it identifies as responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The resolution calls on the government to acknowledge that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report has not adequately addressed issues of accountability for possible war crimes and implement the constructive recommendations made by the LLRC.
It asks the Sri Lankan government to work with international agencies that can support to address reconciliation and accountability, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in its investigation.
H.Res. 587, inter alia, calls on the government to prioritize the demilitarization process throughout the country and remove military from civil administration, allow for greater media freedom, protection of press, and ensure religious freedom,
H. Res. 587 has been referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker.