Panel to discuss mandate

By Jamila Najmuddin                                                                     EXCLUSIVE

The Expert Panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to advise him on issues relating to Sri Lanka will be meeting soon to discuss their mandate before they commence work, Chairman of the Panel, Marsuki Darusman told Daily Mirror online.

The former Indonesian Attorney General speaking to Daily Mirror online from New York, said that the Panel is expected to meet with UN officials soon to discuss what exactly is expected of them and only thereafter will the three member committee begin its work.

A UN Spokesman had reiterated last week that the Panel is not an investigative body but only an advisory committee to brief the UN Chief on issues relating to Sri Lanka and is available also to the Sri Lankan government if they wish to make use of it.

However Darusman told Daily Mirror online that they have not yet been told what their role will be and therefore are waiting for further communication from the UN on what is expected from the three member committee.

“The panel has not yet met and it is only after we meet that we will make a collective decision on what needs to be done. We first need to sit with the UN officials and discuss what is expected of the panel,” Darusman said.

“We are waiting for further details from the UN and my two colleagues and I will begin work soon after,” Darusman added.

Darusman had earlier told the BBC said that Sri Lanka’s decision to deny him and his two colleagues visas was “highly unfortunate” and a barrier to finding out the truth.

However UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky had said that the UN Panel does not need to enter Sri Lanka in order carry out their duties which is expected to be completed in four months after which a report will be handed over to the UN Chief.

The Sri Lankan government has strongly objected to the appointment of the panel saying it is an infringement on the rights of a sovereign nation which has created its own commission of lessons learnt and reconciliation. (Daily Mirror online)

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