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Letter sent by Rajiva to UN envoy Phillip Alston withheld

2009-12-24 09:44:31
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By Dianne Silva

The letter sent by Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights Professor Rajiva Wijesinghe in response to a letter sent by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions Phillip Alston has been withheld, sources in the Foreign Ministry told Daily Mirror online.

The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva had been instructed to withhold the letter sent by the Secretary, sources in the Foreign Ministry said.

When contacted sources at the Permanent Mission in Geneva confirmed that the letter was withheld and that an official response would be forwarded by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On Monday, Prof. Wijesinghe shared with the Daily Mirror his draft letter to the UN Rapporteur and the following day he confirmed that this letter had been sent. However Minister of Human Rights and Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters yesterday that the official consolidated reply of the Sri Lankan government had not yet been sent.

The United Nations on the 18th of this month asked the government to provide explanations with regards to the account of events surrounding the surrender of three LTTE leaders Nadeshan, Pulidevan and Ramesh and their families. This report is based on comments made by Presidential Candidate General Sarath Fonseka to the Sunday Leader Newspaper.

Prof. Wijesinghe held that since General Fonseka had denied these comments, the UN’s call for a reply was now baseless. However according to government Ministers this is not the official stance of the Government of Sri Lanka.

The UN office in Sri Lanka refuses to comment on the issue, stating that the letter under discussion is of a confidential nature.

 

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