Sri Lanka: Coalition partner wants diplomatic offensive against UN report

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 22:57

Colombo: As the UN released a report on
the last phase of the conflict in Sri Lanka, a partner of the
ruling coalition demanded a diplomatic offensive to shore up
international support against the report while the main
opposition appointed a retired civil servant to study it.

Jathika Hela Urumaya, which is part of the ruling
United People`s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), said President
Mahinda Rajapaksa should seek the support of India, Russia and
China in protest against the report of an independent panel
which has now been submitted to UN chief Ban ki-Moon.

"We suggest that President Rajapaksa personally visit
India, Russia and China to mobilise support against the panel
report," Udaya Gammanpila, the JHU legal advisor, said.

"President can convince these countries to vote
against the Western nations if a resolution is moved against
Sri Lanka in the UN security council," Gammanpila said.

The panel has said killing of tens of thousands of
people in the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil strife
could amount to "war crimes". But, Ban insisted he would only
launch an international investigation if Colombo agrees or
member states call for it.

Ban`s statement came as the panel called on the
Secretary General to immediately set up "an independent
international mechanism" to investigate "credible" allegations
that both Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers committed
serious human rights violations, including some that could
amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, in the
months before the decades old civil war ended in 2009.

In its reaction to the report, the Opposition UNP said
it has Bradman Weerakoon, a former civil servant who has
worked with seven former Prime Ministers, to study the report.

The UNP will come out with an official response to the
report only after Weerakoon studies the report.

Despite objections from Sri Lanka, Ban made public the
panel report.

Sri Lanka has vehemently rejected the report as one
used by the Western states to undermine its victory over
terrorism.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 22:57

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