War Accountability Issues : Sri Lankan Govt. cannot walk alone - U.S.

Pacific Angels did not screen anyone visiting Jaffna medical camps

by Zacki Jabbar

The United States of America, while emphasising that the  dark chapter of Sri Lanka’s decades old war could not be closed by its government walking alone, says it does  not  know of any request for anything other than provision of basic medical treatment at its camps in the Jaffna District which concluded yesterday.

A closing ceremony is scheduled to be held tomorrow.

Asked about reports that Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Vigneswaran had requested   the week-long  medical camp conducted by the visiting U.S.  Pacific Angels to also examine some LTTE cadres who had been allegedly poisoned while at rehabilitation camps, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said "We did not screen anyone. Operation Pacific Angel provided basic medical services  such as dental procedures, physical therapy, general medical assistance and optometry  to anyone who voluntarily sought them. We do not know of any other requests for anything else".

The Pacific Angels team included doctors and  engineers from Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and the U.S.

The U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap speaking at a reception held in Jaffna prior to the inauguration of the medical camps said that if Sri Lanka wanted to permanently close  the dark chapter of the war "its  government canno’t walk this path alone. 

All Sri Lankans can take advantage of this historic opportunity and make their voices heard by participating in the various consultative processes that are underway".

"For example, the Zonal Task Force consultations that are taking place countrywide to solicit public input on the proposed reconciliation and accountability processes will benefit from hearing from all of you", he noted.

He also reminded the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government that in eight months time the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights would be reporting on its progress towards implementing reconciliation and accountability promises made  last year.

"The U.S. is ready to assist in promoting reconciliation and forging a reconciled, united, peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka", Keshap assured.

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