By Amreen Ameen
The Sri Lankan government refused to blame the UN for the report made public by the Independent Special Rapporteur Philip Alston on the Channel 4 video, which allegedly showed troops killing unarmed LTTE cadres at point blank range.
When Daily Mirror online contacted the Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Professor Rajiva Wijeysinha, he responded to a question about Ban ki Moon distancing himself from Alston by saying that what Alston says is sometimes wrongly presented by the media as being said by the UN.
“The actual position is that Philip Alston is an Independent expert appointed by the UN, but cannot make decisions. He simply raises issues for UN bodies to consider,” Professor Wijeysinha said.
Professor Wijeysinha noted that the UN high commissioner for Human Rights Navanethan Pillay, who had also made statements on Sri Lanka’s human rights situation on earlier occasions, would not have gone public with a statement like Alston did on the basis of a video.
Meanwhile Government Defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, speaking to Daily Mirror online, said that Philip Alston had violated the laws and ethics and as a result Sri Lanka is not prepared to look at the report as it is not considered credible.
“We also do not know who the experts are and their designation,” he said with reference to the three experts quoted by Alston in his analysis report which claimed that the Channel 4 video was authentic.
He further said “four months ago we had appointed experts with academic qualifications who proved with scientific evidence and credibility that the video was fabricated.”
UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon, on Monday, distanced himself from the controversy arising over the Channel 4 video on Sri Lanka by telling reporters in New York that the UN special envoy on extra judicial Killings Philip Alston is acting independently. <Daily Mirror online>