Colombo: A top Sri Lankan minister Saturday
expressed confidence that the government would be able to look
into allegations of rights violations amid a row with western
countries over its rights record during the last phase of the
ethnic conflict last May.
Keheliya Rambukwella, the Minister of Media and
Information and the Cabinet spokesman, strongly defended the
government’s own systems that are in place to look into
allegations of rights violations.
"Ever since we concluded the (ethnic) war, it was
rumoured by various quarters that Sri Lanka had committed
various right violations," Rambukwella was quoted as saying by
the official Sri Lankan website.
He underlined that the government has appointed a
`Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission` that will not
only look into the allegations of rights violations but would
also recommend ways to prevent it the future.
"We believe in our system and awaiting the outcome of
the Commission appointed by our own President," he said,
spelling out the government`s stance on the possible
appointment of an advisory panel of experts by the UN.
The panel is expected to counsel UN chief Ban ki-moon
on accountability issues that arise with regards to alleged
human rights abuses that took place in the months leading to
the government defeating the LTTE in May 2009.
B. Lynn Pascoe, the Under-Secretary-General for
Political Affairs, was in Sri Lanka earlier this week to take
stock of the political reconciliation process and human rights
situation in the country.
Western nations have demanded an international probe
into alleged human rights violations by Sri Lankan security
forces during the last phase of the war.
The minister underlined that the need of the hour was
peace and development in the country.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his recent visit
to India last week, extended an open invitation to
parliamentarians from Tamil Nadu to visit the country and see
for themselves the rehabilitation programme in the north, the
A delegation of MPs from Tamil Nadu had met Rajapaksa
in New Delhi and sought speedy resettlement of the displaced
Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka.