The Russian government has criticized UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s decision to appointment a panel of experts on Sri Lanka saying it should have been done in consultation with the Security Council or the General Assembly as well as Sri Lanka.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow has taken note of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s decision to appoint a UN panel of experts to investigate war crimes during the period of the campaign against the LTTE.
“In doing so, the UN Secretary-General as chief administrative officer of the United Nations should apparently have asked the opinion of the Security Council or the General Assembly on this matter. But this has not happened. What also makes us cautious is the fact that this decision was taken without regard to the position of a sovereign state and a member of the UN – Sri Lanka,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The UN panel is not a fact finding or investigation mechanism, but is designed solely to advise the UN Chief on accountability issues relating to alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
However Russia notes that Sri Lanka has already begun their own investigation process at national level and the primary responsibility for investigating the events that occurred in the past in Sri Lanka lies with the Sri Lankan Government.
Sri Lanka regards the appointment of the Sri Lanka Panel of Experts as unwarranted and unnecessary and contrary to the position of a UN member state.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the newly appointed UN panel of experts, which, as follows from UN Secretariat statements, does not intend to visit Sri Lanka and will not take any steps that would complicate the investigation being conducted by the authorities of Colombo. (Daily Mirror online)