Top Lankan delegation for key session of UNHRC

Last Updated: Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 23:21

Colombo: Sri Lanka will send a high-level
delegation to a key session of the UN Human Rights Council
(UNHRC) next month, amid a row with the world body over
allegations of war crimes during the final phase of the ethnic
conflict in the country.

The Sri Lankan delegation, headed by Foreign minister GL
Peiris, will include senior ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva,
Anura Yapa and Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Foreign Ministry said
here today.

president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s international affairs
co-ordinator would also be a member of the delegation.

The UNHRC session would be crucial for the government in
the face of the UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon’s panel
report which accused the government and the LTTE of war crimes
during the final phase of the conflict which ended in May
2009.

Sri Lanka is opposed to the UNHRC sessions taking up the
panel report issued by the former Indonesian Attorney General
Marzuki Darusman, Steven Ratner, a US based lawyer, Yasmin
Sooka, a South African human rights activist.

Ban appointed the panel to advise him on the alleged
rights abuses during the final battle.

The government asserted that the report was bias in
nature as the LTTE diaspora had contributed to it through
unsubstantiated allegations against the government troops.

Sri Lanka had demanded more time to investigate the
allegations through the proceedings of its own Lessons Learnt
and Reconciliation Commission.

The report released in April was the subject of
government led extensive local protests. A petition with one
million signatures was organized against it.

The government also went on a diplomatic offensive
against the report by making representations to Non Aligned
Nations, most prominent of them India.

The governments of US, UK and India alongside the
European Union have called for a Sri Lankan investigation in
to the panel report findings.

Peiris last week told the Colombo based diplomatic
community that it was unfair on the part of the international
community to bring pressure on Sri Lanka to expedite
reconciliation.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 23:21

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