By Jamila Najmuddin
A top Japanese official has rejected an invitation by the UN to be part of an expert panel to advice UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon on issues related to the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, Diplomatic sources told Daily Mirror online.
The diplomatic source refused to name the Japanese official but said it was a “famous Japanese” official, raising speculation it could be former Japanese peace envoy and one time UN diplomat Yasushi Akashi.
UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon had earlier told reporters that his Chief of staff Vijay Nambiar and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN Dr. Palitha Kohona are working on the composition of the panel of experts which will advice him on Sri Lanka.
Ban ki-moon said that he is now in the process of finalizing the panel and his envoy, Lynn Pascoe, will visit Sri Lanka in the near future to discuss the matters with the Sri Lankan government.
When contacted Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told Daily Mirror online that Dr. Kohona had met Nambiar on several occasions to discuss various issues and the government’s official response on the panel will be made after the terms of reference of the panel is made public. (Daily Mirror online)