By Jamila Najmuddin
UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe said that a report on Sri Lanka will be handed over to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon next week and a panel of experts to advise the UN Chief on accountability issues related to Sri Lanka will be appointed soon.
Pacoe who will depart back to New York this evening after concluding his visit in the island, told journalists in Colombo a short while ago that although the expert panel was appointed only to brief the UN Chief, it would also be available as a resource that the Sri Lankans can turn to if they wish.
When questioned for a date as to when the UN Chief was expected to appoint his panel, Pascoe said that although he was unsure of the exact dates, he expected it to be as early as next week.
"During my discussions with President Rajapakse yesterday, I made it very clear to him that the expert panel would continue to be appointed by the Secretray General. However there have been many misunderstandings about this panel especially about what its going to do, but there is no cause for concern at all. I also hope that the panel would be useful to the Sri Lankan side," Pascoe said.
Pacoe who held discussions with President Mahinda Rajapakse, cabinet officials responsible for foreign, defence and economic development and the Attorney General during his visit said that the Sri Lankan government had assured him during the talks that the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission appointed by President Rajapakse will provide Sri Lankans with a credible and independent accountability mechanism and added that the UN would support it and provide its assistance should the Lankan government ask.
He further said the responsibility for carrying out a credible process that meets international standards rests first and foremost with the Sri Lankan authorities and the UN would follow with interest in the progress made by the Presidential appointed commitee. (Daily Mirror online)