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Reduce emergency regulations: US

Reduce emergency regulations: US

2010 Dec 16

The United States yesterday urged the Sri Lankan government to cut down on the emergency regulations and reveal an account of displaced people still held in camps, those already released and those to be charged.

Robert O' Blake -- US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs speaking to Daily Mirror from Washington -- acknowledged that the majority of displaced people had been released.

“However the Government should release a list of displaced people to be charged, so that their families can be at peace knowing what’s happening,” he said. Mr. Blake stressed the need to prune emergency regulations and reduce High Security Zones, especially in the North.

He urged the government to hold local council elections in the North so that a new indigenous generation of leaders would have an opportunity to emerge.

Mr. Blake highlighted the need for humanitarian organizations and NGO’s to be permitted access to the northern parts of the island so as to facilitate political and economic growth.

He reaffirmed US support for the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) as a mechanism through which any alleged war crimes could be addressed. “US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton too has expressed her support for the LLRC and looks to the Commission to undertake a serious investigation into these issues. The Commission has heard submissions from 1000’s of people and we hope it will include a wider group of displaced people and Tamils,” Mr. Blake said.

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