Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Prasad Kariyawasam said the recent editorial of the US daily, ‘The New York Times’ on Sri Lanka’s refusal to cooperate with the UN investigation, had made ‘insensitive assertions’ about the Island nation.
“To compare Sri Lanka to human rights and humanitarian emergencies elsewhere in the world is unjust,” Ambassador Kariyawasam stated in his response to the editorial.
Your Aug. 23 editorial “Sri Lanka’s Intransigence,”
about the government’s refusal to cooperate with the United Nations investigation into suspected human rights abuses during the country’s civil war, makes insensitive assertions about my country.
Sri Lanka has enjoyed uninterrupted democracy since 1931. Last September we held the first election to the Northern Provincial Council, delayed by more than two decades because of the refusal of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to politically empower people in the North. Now, the Tamil National Alliance is in control of provincial administration. To compare Sri Lanka to human rights and humanitarian emergencies elsewhere in the world is unjust.
We reject the United Nations investigation because its intrusive nature exceeds its mandate. It challenges the sovereignty of our country; violates basic principles of international law; vitiates the atmosphere needed for reconciliation; and ignores substantial and progressive socioeconomic and political progress already achieved, including the resettlement of 300,000 displaced people and the reintegration of 11,000 armed cadres.
The three-decade-long conflict with many failed attempts at peace because of L.T.T.E. intransigence affected the whole country. Local accountability mechanisms, now strengthened with international experts, are respectful of inherent social, cultural and ethnic susceptibilities, unlike the United Nations-driven process, which serves externally motivated interests and will destabilize the intricate balance of the national reconciliation process.