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Top US officials to visit Sri Lanka, Maldives

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Sat, Jan 19, 2013 10:50 hrs

Colombo, Jan 19 (IANS) Three top US officials will visit Sri Lanka and the Maldives next week amidst concerns of a breakdown in democracy in both countries, the US embassy here said Saturday.

The US embassy to Sri Lanka and the Maldives said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Vikram Singh and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jane Zimmerman will travel to the two island nations Jan 26-Feb 1, Xinhua reported.

In Sri Lanka, they will meet senior officials, members of various political parties as well as civil society members to discuss a wide range of issues.

The two sides will review the progress in implementing the recommendations of the post-war commission known as the "Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission" and the National Action Plan.

In the Maldives, the US officials will meet government officials and members of political parties "to continue support for a way forward that respects Maldivian democratic institutions, the rule of law, and the will of the Maldivian people in the run up to this year's presidential elections", the report said.

Sri Lanka has been facing criticism over its failure to prosecute those allegedly involved in human rights abuses during the final stages of the three-decade civil war with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The Sri Lankan military defeated the rebels in 2009 but continues to face calls for an international investigation into the alleged human rights abuses.

In the Maldives, a tussle continues between the Maldivian government and ousted president Mohamed Nasheed who claims he was forced to resign in February last year.




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