Singapore not to take sides on Sri Lanka rights issue

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Sri Lanka human rights:Singapore neutral
Colombo, Nov 17: Singapore vowed not to "take sides" on Sri Lanka's human rights issue, media reported Sunday.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa that more time was needed to heal the wounds after a prolonged civil war in the south Asian island nation ended in 2009, Xinhua reported citing a news portal.

"We are observers and don't take sides," said Lee.

Sri Lanka has been under intense scrutiny over alleged human rights abuses during the last phase of the three-decade conflict with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Briefing Lee on Sri Lanka's situation, Rajapaksa said now peace has returned and Sri Lanka is on the path to development.

He said that since the end of the conflict, a great deal of progress has been made in resettlement, rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation.

The bilateral talks were held on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which runs from Friday to Sunday in Colombo.

It is the first time in 24 years an Asian country is hosting the summit of the 53-member bloc comprising Britain and its former colonies.

IANS

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