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UN panel on Lanka `uncalled for and unnecessary`: Govt

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 16:15

Colombo: Sri Lanka Wednesday took exception
to the UN appointing a panel of experts to look into alleged
human rights abuses in the final stage of the island`s civil
war, charging of a "hidden agenda" behind the move.

Slamming the UN, government spokesman and Media and
Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said the step was
"uncalled for and unnecessary" and warned that Sri Lanka will
take "appropriate action".

Rambukwella was reacting to an announcement made in
New York of an appointment of a three-member panel by the UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The panel is headed by
Indonesia`s former Attorney General Marzuki Darusman and is to
submit its report within four months.

Asserting that the Sri Lankan government was
addressing the concerns raised by the UN, Rambukwella said,
"inspite of we as a government expressing our concerns, the UN
has made the appointment."

"The UN and its secretary-general have revealed their
hidden agenda in no uncertain terms," the minister said in
remarks posted on the government website.

He said the UN`s move to appoint a panel to advise it
on any violation of international human rights was an "attempt
to provide oxygen" to defeated Tamil tigers.

He said the government would take appropriate action
with regard to it in the near future.

"Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation with a strong
Constitution in which we have an Executive and Legislature
elected by the people through a very strong democratic

"We also have a vibrant judiciary. The sovereignty of
the country lies with its people and their rights have been
guaranteed by the constitution," the Minister said.

Rambukwella said Sri Lankan President Mahinda
Rajapaksa has already appointed a Lesson Learnt and
Reconciliation Commission with a mandate to look into all
aspects of the conflict.

"For the UN to have a parallel probe is to
re-judge and undermine a process that Sri Lanka has begun as
part of its national reconciliation," he said.


First Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 16:15
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