The United States has expressed the hope that the Reconciliation Commission established by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to study events from 2002 till the military defeat of the LTTE would be given broad enough mandate to follow the trail of any evidence.
At a meeting with the island nation's Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris on Friday in Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her country supported the creation of the Commission and added that experience in other countries had shown that such commissions had credibility and legitimacy within the country and had a valuable role in advancing accountability.
She was responding to a question at a news conference along with Mr. Peiris on concerns expressed by groups like the Human Rights Watch (HRW) that the mandate of the Commission was narrow and might not cover the alleged violation of human rights in the last phase of Eelam War IV.
Ms. Clinton acknowledged that there has been tremendous progress in re-settlement of the nearly three lakh Tamil civilians and that many thousands of such internally displaced persons have returned home.
A statement by the Sri Lankan mission in Washington released here said that during the meeting, Mr. Peiris told Ms. Clinton that Sri Lanka hoped to resettle the remaining 45,000 displaced people within the next three months.
“It is not a question of just resettling people physically,” he said. “We want to ensure a restoration of livelihoods so that they're able to live their lives with dignity without bitterness or rancour. That's very essential.”
Mr. Peiris is on a five-day tour of the U.S. and in the course of his visit to New York three days ago had met U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and argued against a proposal by the U.N. chief to constitute a committee of experts to advice him on matters related to Sri Lanka.