Sri Lankans to rally against UN panel`s report

Last Updated: Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 19:03

Colombo: Tens of thousands of supporters of
Sri Lanka`s ruling UPFA alliance will take out a rally here on
May Day against a UN advisory panel`s report on alleged human
rights violations in the country, according to two ministers.

"The crowd will be the biggest ever seen in Colombo,"
Dallas Alahapperuma, the Minister of Youth Affairs, told
reporters here today.

Tens of thousands of people representing some 16 parties
of the ruling alliance are scheduled to congregate at the Town
Hall premises in central Colombo on May 1. They will march
from four different directions to attend a rally to be
presided over President Mahinda Rajapaksa later in the
evening.

"We want to send a clear message to the international
community that no imperialist interventions are possible in
Sri Lanka," Susil Premajayantha, the Minister of Petroleum and
the ruling party`s General Secretary, said.

Sri Lankan government has turned hostile towards the
report issued by a three-member advisory panel appointed by
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to look into alleged human
rights abuses during the last stage of the military conflict
with the LTTE which ended in May 2009.

The report authored by Marzuki Darusman, a former
Indonesian attorney general; Yasmin Sooka, a South African
rights activist; and Steven Ratner, a US-based lawyer calls
for setting up of an independent investigation into alleged
war crimes for which Sri Lanka`s political and military
leadership have been held responsible.

The government maintained the report was biased and
flawed, claiming that it was compiled with evidence provided
by pro-LTTE elements.

The UN released the report despite a request from Sri
Lanka not to publish it as it would "hinder" the process of
reconciliation.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 19:03

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