The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Sri Lanka’s GL Peiris on issues of accountability, free media, human rights and demilitarising the North, according the spokesperson Victoria Nuland, a move that was rejected just hours later by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Asked if prosecuting war crimes and responsibility for the estimated 40,000 civilian deaths in the final phase of the armed conflict was discussed, Ms. Nuland replied,
“This is precisely what we mean when we talk about accountability in all of it”.
She further stated that there were meetings with Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, and Mike Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “to go through the details” for accountability for war crimes.
During his trip Peiris also met with Stephen Rapp, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice and Samantha Power, Special Assistant to President Obama, and chair of the Atrocities Prevention Board.
Nuland went on to note that Sri Lanka’s use of Iranian crude oil was also discussed with Clinton, as the US pressures Sri Lanka to comply with sanctions on Iran, upon which Sri Lanka is almost completely reliant on for crude oil.
See our TG View on Peiris' visit here.