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“Sometimes, it seems like criticism and pressure, but we do expect a democratic government to live up to its ideals that we are all, in our own way, trying to live up to in our own democracies,” said Mr. Boucher, who was in Sri Lanka to attend a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

“The time to promote reconciliation and trust, the time to promote hope, is now,” he added.

Sri Lankan officials have repeatedly said they want a negotiated end to the 30-year conflict with the Tamil separatists and are trying prosecuting any officials charged with human rights violations.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail