4:58 AM

Senior U.S. Human Rights Official Visits Sri Lanka

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Erica Barks-Ruggles visited Colombo May 22-24 as part of the U.S. Government’s regular, ongoing consultations with the Sri Lankan Government. During her visit, Ms. Barks-Ruggles met with several senior Government of Sri Lanka officials, including Attorney General C. R. De Silva, Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona, Justice Secretary Suhada Gamalath and Secretary of Disaster Management and Human Rights P.D. Amarasinghe. She also met with a broad spectrum of political and civil society leaders.

Ms. Barks-Ruggles emphasized the importance of continuing the dialogue between the U.S. and Sri Lanka, which have enjoyed 60 years of unbroken friendship. She commended recent efforts to address some concerns of the U.S. and others on human rights. In particular, Ms. Barks-Ruggles welcomed recent releases of former child soldiers by the TMVP. She urged the government and others working on this problem to maintain this momentum and ensure that all remaining child soldiers are released in the shortest possible time.