Colombo: President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday
launched a broadside against western nations that have often
targetted Sri Lanka on rights abuses, questioning the "safe
havens" provided by them to financiers of LTTE terror, while
pledging his country`s commitment to human rights.
In a public address, Rajapaksa said his government was
committed to transforming the Sri Lankan society to one of
peace, pluralism and equality.
"Our commitment to human rights is second to none," he
said in comments ahead of next week`s session of the UN Human
Rajapaksa also attacked the international community,
mainly the West, that has called for accountability over the
alleged rights abuses during the final phase of the war with
"Many of those who fault us today are harbouring those who
funded terror in our country, and still raise funds for this
brutal cause. They were also glad to give safe haven to the
very theoreticians of terror in Sri Lanka," Rajapaksa said in
a veiled reference to the UK.
The LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham was a UK citizen.
Rajapaksa claimed that by eliminating LTTE he had freed
South Asia from terrorism and mocked the US-led war on terror.
"We have achieved this with much less of the assets and
none of the deceit and duplicity of those who have been waging
war on terror for more than a decade, those with much more
economic and fire power than we had and many more allies than
we ever had," Rajapaksa said targetting the US.
The US, UK, European Union have been calling Sri Lanka to
stand accountable over alleged rights abuses, more so after a
report by a panel appointed by UN chief Ban Ki-moon that held
both Sri Lankan forces and LTTE responsible for war crimes.
The special panel report has called for independent
investigation into civilian deaths caused at the end of the
conflict with the LTTE in May 2009.
"There are loud voices raised against us on
accountability. To most of these voices, accountability is
only a verbal apology for civilian deaths that are dismissed
as collateral damage in heavy bombings," Rajapaksa said in
apparent reference to civilian deaths in Afghanistan.
Sri Lanka has dismissed the report as biased and motivated
by the pro-LTTE diaspora in the West.