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US Senate Report on Sri Lanka: U.S. Cannot Afford to Lose Sri Lanka due to its Strategic Importance - Page 4

Article Index
US Senate Report on Sri Lanka: U.S. Cannot Afford to Lose Sri Lanka due to its Strategic Importance
Page 2
Strategic Interests In Sri Lanka
Recommendations On Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan Government should:
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Recommendations On Sri Lanka

The Obama administration should:

1. Take a broader and more robust approach to Sri Lanka that appreciates new political and economic realities in Sri Lanka and U.S. geostrategic interests. Such an approach should be multidimensional so that U.S. policy is not driven solely by short-term humanitarian concerns but rather an integrated strategy that leverages political, economic, and security tools for more effective long-term reforms.

2. Continue support de-mining efforts in the North. De-mining will be a major factor in successful resettlement of the North.

3. Engage the United Nations (World Food Programme and other agencies) and the Sri Lankan Government in developing a realistic resettlement strategy for 2010 that reassesses food and nonfood needs to support returnees’ efforts at reestablishing their livelihoods.

4. Promote people-to-people reconciliation programs to build bridges between the Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim communities. A people-to-people approach should be linked to political reforms and processes that support transitional justice. Funding for such programs is available on a competitive basis under section 7065 (‘‘Reconciliation
Programs’’) of Public Law 111–8, and additional funding will be included for such purposes in the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2010.

5. Expand U.S. assistance to include all areas of the country, particularly in the south and central areas so that Sinhalese and other groups also benefit from U.S. assistance programs and reap some ‘‘peace dividend.’’

6. Tighten visa restrictions and revoke U.S. citizenship for any persons who are shown to have committed war crimes in Sri Lanka, whether they acted on behalf of the LTTE or the Government of Sri Lanka.

7. Expand the USAID/Department of Justice police program and provide judicial advisors to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Justice in order to support critical police reforms and implementation of current law.

8. Publicly commit to reinstating Peace Corps operations in Sri Lanka as soon as the emergency regulations are removed. Peace Corps volunteers could focus on teaching English and information technology training.

The U.S. Congress should:

Authorize the U.S. military to resume training of Sri Lankan military officials to help ensure that human rights concerns are integrated into future operations and to help build critical relationships.

The international financial institutions should:

1. Encourage all international financial institutions to systematically factor in the role of conflict, as the World Bank does through its conflict filter for Sri Lanka, to ensure that IMF and development bank financing does not inadvertently exacerbate conflict. Specifically, World Bank staff should be commended on its development of a conflict filter for Sri Lanka, and the World Bank should expand its use in other countries.

2. Proactively review military spending as a component of its financial programs with conflict countries.



 

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