August 21, 2007 (LBO) – Military officers from Sri Lanka and the United States, two countries faced with tough suicide terrorist wars, discussed human rights and justice in counter-terrorism operations at a meeting in Colombo last week, the U.S. embassy said Tuesday. The three-day meeting, hosted by the U.S. Pacific Command, in partnership with the American Embassy, was to exchange ideas on ways to improve transparency, accountability and human rights in military justice, it said in a statement.
“It is valuable to discuss the challenges both our countries face in pursuing effective counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism practices, while ensuring respect for human rights and international law in such operations,” U.S. ambassador Robert Blake was quoted as telling the programme opening on August 15.
A five-member American team met with thirty five Sri Lankan Army, Navy and Air Force personnel to foster the mutual exchange of ideas and discussion of law affecting military commanders.
“In the heat of battle, soldiers may occasionally act outside the law,” Blake said.
“What is important is that there are laws and institutions set up to investigate and respond appropriately to such transgressions.
“The successful empowerment of such institu