Rajapaksa for `show of strength` against UN panel report
Last Updated: Monday, April 18, 2011, 22:54
  
Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for turning May Day worker rallies in his country into a massive "show of strength" against a UN panel's report that reportedly holds the government responsible for war crimes during the offensive against LTTE.

Rajapaksa, who departed this morning on an official visit to Bangladesh, said Sri Lankans needed to rally against the UN special panel's report and that the International Labour Day was the time to do so.

"The time has come to show our strength and this should not be confined to expressing worker solidarity but to demonstrate against injustice done to the country before the world," said a statement from the President.

"I am prepared to face any punishment on behalf of the motherland with great honour", the President was quoted as saying.

The presidential statement was in response to the three-member UN panel's report that called for setting up of an "independent international mechanism" into what it called "credible" allegations that Sri Lankan military committed war crimes in its final decisive offensive against Tamil Tigers.

The panel, appointed by UN chief Ban ki-Moon submitted its report last week without making it public. But leaked excerpts were published here in the media.

The report in addition to its call for an independent international mechanism, seeks an acknowledgement of government's role and responsibility for extensive civilian casualties.

The government has dismissed the report as flawed and biased.

Senior minister Maithripala Sirisena called on the public to unite to protest the UN panel report.

"These forces were trying to discredit the president and soldiers in trying to make them answer for war crimes," he said.

But, the main Tamil party lauded the recommendations of the report.

Responding to the leaked contents, the Tamil National Alliance said in a statement that they welcomed the recommendations made by the panel and trusts that they will be "honestly implemented".

"The panel has recommended certain measures which as a whole, it hopes will serve as a framework for an ongoing and constructive engagement between the Secretary General and the government of Sri Lanka on accountability," the statement said.

PTI


First Published: Monday, April 18, 2011, 22:54


comments powered by Disqus