By Jamila Najmuddin
Sri Lanka has questioned the double standards of the United Nations by attempting to set up an expert panel on Sri Lanka within nine months whereas it took nine years for the organization to set up a probe commission to investigate Britian's involvement in Iraq.
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, questioning the UN’s rush in appointing such an expert committee on Sri Lanka, stated that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon should have granted more time and space to the government to address the issues raised by him.
“We defeated terrorism only nine months ago in May 2009. Now we are into April 2010. In the UK, it took nine long years to appoint a committee to investigate affairs on the Iraqi issues and UK’s involvement such as the deployment of forces, violations of human rights etc. In Sri Lanka, only nine months have passed so it would have been better if the Secretary General would have given us more time and space,” Minister Bogollagama said.
The government has also raised suspicion on the timing of such a panel and said it ‘was a matter of concern’ as to why such a decision was taken just before an election.
“We also could do just an adhoc arrangement but they are not going to serve the purpose. It is a matter of concern why the Secretary General decided to appoint such a committee just before a general election. We oppose this move because it was not needed and not warranted and the timing is absolutely not right for the Secretary General to have proceeded,” Minister Bogollagama said.
The Foreign Minister further said that the Secretary General should have obtained the permission of the Security Council to appoint such a committee which would look into the affairs of another country and clearly ‘hoped’ that Mr. Ban Ki Moon would respect and avoid any type of influence in the local electorate in a manner that would have very adverse repercussions. (Daily Mirror online)