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US envoy for Sri Lanka to prioritize human rights

WASHINGTON (AP) – The nominee to be the next U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka says human rights will be at the top of her agenda.

Michele Sison says serious allegations of violation of international human rights law committed during the island nation’s civil war have yet to be investigated and have slowed reconciliation.

Sison spoke at her Senate confirmation hearing.

Democrat Sen. Robert Casey said Sri Lanka has yet to implement recommendations made six months ago by its own reconciliation commission.

He urged an independent investigation into alleged war crimes, saying the issue would not go away “until the world sees results.”

Sison said the U.S. was looking for “near term progress” by Sri Lanka, particularly in setting a date for provincial elections in the country’s north and demilitarization of former conflict zones.

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