Sri Lanka softens stand on UN war crimes panel`s visit
Last Updated: Saturday, December 18, 2010, 16:29
  
Colombo: Softening its stance, Sri Lanka on Saturday said it would consider allowing a panel of experts, appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to visit the country to probe alleged war crimes during the LTTE-era, if a formal request was made.

Responding to the UN chief's statement on planned visit, the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Bandula Jayasekara said "when a request is made we will consider it".

Sri Lanka previously rejected Ban's panel as an interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and instead set up its own "Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)", a government appointed panel to look into events during the war and make recommendations to avoid repetition.

Three international non governmental organisations, the New York-based Human Rights Watch, London-based Amnesty International and Brussels-based International Crisis Group have snubbed an invitation to appear before the LLRC last month, accusing it of a cover-up and lacking credibility.

The LLRC for its part has said that it must be judged by its performance and not prejudice. Both the Tamil Tigers and Sri Lanka's government have been accused by human rights groups of committing crimes against humanity during the last year of their three-decade-long conflict.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, December 18, 2010, 16:29


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