US official visits Sri Lanka’s former war zone

Colombo, Jan 9 (IANS) A top US official dealing with war crimes visited Sri Lanka’s former war zones in the Northern Province of the country as part of his visit to the island nation, a US official said Thursday.

Stephen J. Rapp, US Ambassador-at-Large at the Office of Global Criminal Justice, visited areas designated as “No Fire Zones” during the final stages of the war between the Sri Lankan Army and the Tamil Tiger rebels, Xinhua reported.
Rapp and US Ambassador in Colombo Michele J. Sison visited the site where a UN office was in Puthukudiruppu and the site of a school and hospital in Puthumathalan.
The US Embassy in Colombo also tweeted a picture of Rapp and Sison inspecting a location where, the embassy in a tweet said, hundreds of families were killed in 2009.
Rapp arrived this week and will be in the country till Saturday. He already had a meeting with the Tamil National Alliance, the main minority Tamil party in Sri Lanka, before visiting the North.
During his meeting with the Tamil National Alliance, Rapp said the US will sponsor a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva in March.
Human Rights groups have accused the Sri Lankan Army of killing hundreds of civilians during the war, an allegation the army denies.