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US praises progress on accountability and justice, pledges navy war ships amidst reports of torture

The Under Secretary of Political Affairs Thomas A Shannon Jr, praised Sri Lanka’s progress on “post-war justice, reconciliation and accountability" and announced plans to provide Sri Lanka’s navy with a second ‘high endurance’ coast guard ship as part of “a tangible symbol” of a “growing partnership” to ensure “regional stability.”

Mr Thomas was speaking during a visit to Colombo as part of the second meeting of the US Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue.

Speaking on the same day the Financial Times produced an in-depth report on Sri Lanka’s backtracking on commitments to accountability, the state department official said the US “commends positive steps towards… post-war justice, reconciliation and accountability.”

Concluding his statement Mr Shannon said, “As the government of Sri Lanka moves ahead with its reforms to promote justice, accountability, reconciliation, and human rights, the United States will continue to partner with Sri Lanka to foster economic development and advance equal rights and opportunities for all persons in this great nation.”

Sri Lanka's Navy stands accused of a litany mass atrocities and ongoing torture. In 2015 a UN working group on enforced disappearences found evidence of a secret torture camp in a naval base in the eastern province of Sri Lanka. Recebt weeks have also seen heightening tensions between Tamil residents in the North-East as they xontinue tonchaklenge the navy's continued appropriation of land. The Associated Press today citing investigations from the International Truth and Justice Project reported evidence of torture in Sri Lanka as late as July 2017.