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US will pressure Sri Lanka to meet the needs of Tamils - Wigneswaran on Samantha Power meeting

The US will pressure the Sri Lankan government and take all measures to ensure that the needs of the Tamil people are met, according to the assurances of US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, in her meeting with Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting on Sunday, Mr Wigneswaran said that Ms Power had stated that the US was well aware of the Tamil people’s grievances, saying “by giving the government pressure, we will take all measures to do everything that is necessary for you.”

Summarising what was discussed in the meeting, the Chief Minister said

 “We expressed to her our distress that even six years after the war, the biggest issue plaguing us is the military being amongst us, snatching our livelihoods, our lands and our homes, continuing to harass us and give us problems.”

“We also highlighted that, even if it is true that compared to before, soldiers are staying in their camps more, the fact that they are still engaging in surveillance activities, and all their activities are carried out with the attitude that all Tamils are terrorists, grieves us greatly.”

The Chief Minister also mentioned that the disproportionately high amount of spending on defence could be better used to benefit the war-ravaged provinces, he said.

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