US Envoy in Sri Lanka Ahead of UN Rights Meeting

Posted September 12th, 2011 at 11:51 am (UTC-5)
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A top U.S. envoy is in Sri Lanka for talks ahead of a United Nations Human Rights Council meeting on human rights abuses committed during the country's civil war.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake arrived Monday in the capital, Colombo, for talks with government officials, politicians, Tamil leaders and university students.

During the trip, Blake is scheduled to discuss the credibility of a soon-to-be-released report by Sri Lanka's government-appointed Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission on human rights violations committed during the 25-year civil war.

His visit comes as the U.N. Human Rights Council opens a meeting on the issue in Geneva.

The Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in in 2009.

A U.N. panel has estimated that thousands of Tamil civilians were killed in the final phase of the conflict. It also said there were credible allegations of human rights violations, including possible war crimes, by both the military and the rebels.