NAM concerned over Ban`s move to set up advisory body on Lanka
Last Updated: Friday, March 12, 2010, 18:11
Colombo: Condemning "selective targeting" of countries, the Non-Aligned Movement has voiced concern over UN chief Ban Ki-Moon's move to appoint a panel of experts to advise him on accountability issues pertaining to alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the LTTE war.

In a letter to the UN Secretary General, the New York- based Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) said the proposed appointment comes without taking into consideration the domestic situation in the island nation and without consulting the government of Sri Lanka.

It said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had already expressed in public his intention to appoint a domestic mechanism to address accountability issues relating to the LTTE war voluntarily and that the UN has no mandate to intervene in domestic matters of a State.

The NAM Coordinating Bureau said it strongly condemns "selective targeting" of individual countries which it deems contrary to the founding principles of the Movement and the United Nations Charter.

It said the move by the UN chief on the eve of the April 8 Parliamentary polls in Sri Lanka could do "more harm than good to the country's ongoing and relentless efforts aimed at reinforcing reconciliation and national unity."

In the letter dated March 9, the NAM said the UN Secretary General's proposal comes as a reaction to the proposals by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

It said those proposals were based on information that does not take into account the particularities of the domestic situations, and without consultations with the government concerned.

"Neither the (UN) Security Council, nor the General Assembly or its subsidiary, Human Rights Council, has made pronouncements on alleged human rights violations, nor mandated any particular course of action," the NAM letter said.

It pointed out to Ban that the situation in Sri Lanka is not on the agenda of any of these bodies and there is nothing in the Charter of the UN that authorises intervention in matters which are essentially in the domestic jurisdiction of any State without prejudice of course to the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.

"Based on national ownership and leadership, the non- aligned countries therefore wish to underscore the need to allow enough space and time to the government of Sri Lanka to complete its own domestic processes, without interference or unsolicited assistance," said the letter signed by Maged A Abdelaziz, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Chair.


First Published: Friday, March 12, 2010, 18:11

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