Top U.S. envoy Robert Blake on Tuesday visited Sri Lanka’s former war zone to take stock of the situation, even as international pressure mounted on the country for a credible probe into alleged war crimes.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs, Mr. Blake’s Jaffna tour came after his talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the main Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance on Monday.
Mr. Blake’s visit to Sri Lanka comes as pressure mounts at a UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes committed during the LTTE conflict.
He met students and community leaders in addition to government officials to check first hand on the progress of normalisation of civilian life in Jaffna after the end of decades old fighting.
Officials said Mr. Blake at his meeting with Mr. Rajapaksa had inquired about the concerns raised over the increased military presence in Jaffna.
Mr. Rajapaksa had played down concerns saying that the military’s presence in Jaffna was only up to the level of requirement and there was no excess deployment.