Colombo goes on all-out offensive against UN report as UNHRC disaster looms

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 August 2011, 10:19 GMT]
At a time when the United States is awaiting a response from Colombo for its call for an “interactive dialogue” on the wide-spread credible allegations war crimes, before the UNHRC meets for its 18th sessions next month, Mahinda Rajapaksa government has said the UN Expert Panel Report is “not admissible at UNHRC” and warned that it could produce “dangerous results if entertained”.

Indirectly responding to the US call for the interactive dialogue on issues of war crime allegations, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris has said at an SL Defence Ministry function on Wednesday that UN expert panel report to the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) “cannot be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) since it is neither an official document by any means nor has it any kind of legitimate nexus to any UN organ”.

“Considering the document or any part of it at the UNHRC will constitute unsound and dangerous results not only for Sri Lanka but also for the whole international community in general,” the State-run Daily News has quoted Prof. G.L. Peiris as saying while delivering a keynote address at the fourth annual symposium of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) at the university premises on Wednesday.

Claiming that the advisory panel “straying completely out of its mandate had recommended to the UNSG that the report should be submitted to the UNHRC”, he has said that it was “not their business at all” to make such recommendation.

“It is up to the UNSG to decide on it. Neither the panel was asked to prepare a report suitable for publication. They were simply asked to submit a report purely to offer advices for the UNSG. Many features of the report indicate that it is a biased document and prepared for a political purpose,” the SL Foreign Minister has said, adding that external forces cannot intervene in this regard.

Responding to a question posed by the Inner City Press on June 6, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon himself said that he was “still awaiting the response of the Sri Lankan Government” with regard to his Expert Panel Report.

“I am checking almost every day, every week so that they will send their response as soon as possible. That can give me further review on their response,” he said.

According to media circles in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s response is badly awaited by the United States before September 20 when the UNHRC meets for its 18th sessions or in just over six weeks. It will continue till December 20.

“If a reply is not forthcoming, Sri Lankan diplomats, both in Geneva and Washington DC, have warned the External Affairs Ministry in Colombo of the prospects of a different resolution before the Council at its 18th sessions in Geneva next month,” a media report said early this month, hinting that the character of such a resolution could be “more damaging” to Colombo.

Quoting the diplomats, the media report said that there could be calls by the UNHRC for an international investigation, sanctions and travel bans on those identified in the UN Panel Report, which found credible evidences for the wide-spread allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Sri Lankan troops during the final months of the systematic genocidal war against the Eezham Tamils.


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