Counter Terror

Jan 19, 2007 (LBO) – The United States has said Sri Lanka could get more support in its war against Tamil Tiger terrorism if the island improves its human rights record. A U.S embassy statement said the two countries discussed co-operation against Tamil Tiger terrorism during a visit by Admiral Robert F. Willard, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, in January 17-18.

“Admiral Willard reaffirmed the support of the United States to Sri Lanka in defending against terrorist activity through cooperation on maritime security,” it said.

“He noted that improvements in human rights protection could lead to enhanced cooperation.”

Sri Lanka has come under criticism from human rights groups for alleged abuses by its armed forces in its campaign against the Tigers.

The government denies it condones human rights abuses and says it is investigations the allegations.

Admiral Willard’s visit was part of a regional trip to south Asia to meet with his naval counterparts.

He reviewed ongoing maritime cooperation, including naval training and exchanges, between the United States and Sri Lanka.

In Colombo, he met with senior military officials and call