By Jamila Najmuddin
President Mahinda Rajapakse will meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in New York next week and raise the government’s strong objections to moves by a UN Panel to commence its work on Sri Lanka despite a local commission hearing already underway.
Government sources told Daily Mirror online that President Rajapakse is expected to meet the UN Chief on September 24, a day after his scheduled speech at the UN General Assembly and raise the government’s strong objections over the panel which is expected to formally commence its work this week.
President Rajapakse and Secretary General Ban Ki Moon are also expected to discuss other issues related to Sri Lanka during their meeting, Government sources further added.
The panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to advise him on matters relating to Sri Lanka will meet the UN Chief this week and formally begin work, the UN said this week.
In response to this move, Sri Lanka has once again reiterated its statement and called the move to establish such a panel ‘unwarranted’ and ‘uncalled for” and said that the government would not accept the panel as its own commission was already underway.
“The Sri Lankan government does not believe in this UN Panel as we already have a commission hearing underway. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has made progress and will soon accomplish its task,” officials at the External Affairs Ministry told Daily Mirror online.
A UN spokesperson said that the panel members and support staff have been conducting intensive preparatory work over the past few weeks and will meet with the Secretary-General this week, marking the formal commencement of its activities.
President Rajapakse left for the United States on Wednesday to take part in the United Nations General Assembly and is expected to make a speech on September 23. (Daily Mirror online)