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Links with U.N. panel cut off

22 January 2011 09:30 am - 21     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka has cut off direct talks with a U.N. panel set up in June to promote accountability for war crimes during the final stages of the country's bloody 2009 offensive against Tamil separatists, U.N. officials told Turtle Bay.

The panel had been planning a trip to Colombo to question senior officials responsible for addressing massive rights violations during the conflict, but that visit is now unlikely.

Sri Lanka's deputy U.N. ambassador, Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva, who commanded troops during the war, wrote to the office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this month to say that going forward his government would only hold talks with Ban's advisors, not with the panel investigating war crimes. U.N. officials say they fear Sri Lanka's action, which comes one month after Sri Lanka's U.N. ambassador, Palitha Kohona, invited the panel to Colombo, may be calculated to run down the clock on talks on a visit until the panel's mandate expires at the end of February.

The dispute centers on the terms under which the visit would take place. Sri Lanka has agreed to a visit by the U.N. panel on the condition that its activities be limited to testifying before the Sri Lanka Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up by President Mahinda Rajapaksa last year to address the conflict and promote reconciliation between the country's ruling Sinhalese and minority Tamils. The panel has demanded broader freedom to talk to a range of Sri Lankan officials.

President Rajapaksa agreed to invite the panel to Sri Lanka during a meeting with Ban in New York along the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly debate last September, Sri Lanka's U.N. envoy, Palitha Kohona, told Turtle Bay. "The understanding at that point was the panel will come to Sri Lanka and make representations to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission," he said. Kohona claimed the panel has sought to unilaterally "expand the scope of that understanding." U.N. officials have privately challenged Kohona's account of Ban's agreement with Rajapaksa, saying Ban did not agree to limiting the scope of the panel's activities in Sri Lanka. (Source : Turtlebay)
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  Comments - 21

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  • Saddam Saturday, 22 January 2011 10:25 AM

    UN are murderers themselves. What panels for them ????

    Anver Saturday, 22 January 2011 10:43 AM

    No need to talk to them. Let UN inquire into worst atrocities committed and still being committed by US & NATO elsewhere.

    potta naufer Sunday, 23 January 2011 07:12 AM

    Ayyo what happened to UNp why they cut off panel? UNp finish

    channa Saturday, 22 January 2011 11:42 AM

    Good decisions.....Should never bow down to LTTE supporting so called human rights groupes.....

    Konde bendapu china Saturday, 22 January 2011 11:48 AM

    Western Dirty Politics Always implemented through UN,

    ASHA Saturday, 22 January 2011 12:10 PM

    Happy..Happy..!
    Now recall how India kicked-off UN ADVICE when annexing the Goa state......
    And, for the moment' treat our VIKILEAKS AS BIBLE!

    Ari Saturday, 22 January 2011 02:05 PM

    'Independent persons or groups' - where can one find them?

    Ari Saturday, 22 January 2011 02:10 PM

    This Moon panel is surrounded by confusion and controversy. How can they investigate war crimes when they lack a mandate to do so?

    zorro Sunday, 23 January 2011 12:13 PM

    what is the point of this panel talking to LLRC? can the LLRC change anything than following what MR & Co instruct them to do?

    kabir Sunday, 23 January 2011 12:18 PM

    I am sure one day you will live like a slave then you will realise the value of human rights. Human rights is to treat humans humanely

    kabir Sunday, 23 January 2011 12:20 PM

    I think we should let them in we got noting to hide our forces never commited any crimes they are just minding their business

    priyanka Saturday, 22 January 2011 03:27 PM

    how can one willingly corporate/link with a panel that inquire their crime. Therefore, it is a wise decision.

    Kaslana Sunday, 23 January 2011 12:54 PM

    Ari, such persons can be found here and there. Their in mass graves over here or else they are still floating in high seas over there or are silenced by the bullet everywhere down here.

    Martin Thomas Saturday, 22 January 2011 05:49 PM

    Why fear to meet an talk to UN panel if you have nothing to hide??

    nagulendran Sunday, 23 January 2011 03:45 PM

    exactly....how many muslim brothers dying in Iraq and Afghanistan on daily basis......

    Thas Saturday, 22 January 2011 07:38 PM

    This itself shows the quilt of Govt of SL.

    Shanil Samarakoon Saturday, 22 January 2011 10:22 PM

    Exactly. Seriously the govt is living the dream in terms of fostering blind patriotism, as evidenced by the comments.

    Oyage Sudu Kella Saturday, 22 January 2011 09:50 AM

    UN never helped us in winning the war like how they helped US to have war with the innocent Iraqis. Forget UN Panels and Moon.

    samare Saturday, 22 January 2011 10:05 AM

    Why wouldn't the government want the UN to talk to independent persons or groups ??????

    adahan Sunday, 23 January 2011 05:03 AM

    It's a matter of USA talking through UN. Individually US politicians are full of praise for the war victory but as a country there seem to be instigation to push for war crimes.


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