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Patience is a virtue: UN on Sri Lanka

15 September 2015 04:34 pm - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The United Nations remained tight lipped on the contents of the report on war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka and on the UN stance on the mechanism to be adopted in addressing the issues.

Responding to a question posed by a journalist during the daily media briefing at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday afternoon, Secretary General's Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric asked for patience.

“The report will be out on Wednesday. We will have more to say on that day,” he said.

The OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka was based on a US-sponsored resolution approved at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions held last year.

The UN also remained non-committal on the mechanism to be set up to address the issues raised in the report.

“I think the Secretary-General's position on that has been expressed in the past” Mr. Dujarric said without reference to the shift in the political environment in Sri Lanka.

Earlier, several countries led by the United States called for an ‘independent investigation’ into allegations of war crimes allegedly committed during the final phase of a bloody civil war which lasted 30 years.

The report is to be submitted in the backdrop of a shift in the political atmosphere in the country following the shock defeat of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in January this year.

The calls for an international investigation were heavily resisted by the former regime led by Mr. Rajapaksa. The nationalist Rajapaksa-led government, was opposed to any ‘western interference into the internal affairs of Sri Lanka.

The stance resulted in successive resolutions and soft economic sanctions imposed on the country.

The United States have sponsored successive resolutions at the United Nations Human Right Council (UNHCR) calling the government to address the allegations through a credible mechanism.

However, the US softened its stance following the change of government during the presidential elections and the subsequent parliamentary election in which the pro-western United National Party (UNP) emerged victorious.

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Desai Biswal during a visit last month to Sri Lanka said that it supported an ‘Internal mechanism’ to address the allegations.

The report was to be submitted in March 2015 but was ‘deferred’ following the change in the political climate in Sri Lanka.

The UN Human Rights Chief in February said the deferral was due to “the changing context in Sri Lanka, and the possibility that important new information might emerge which would strengthen the report". (Hafeel Farisz in New York)
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  • lara Wednesday, 16 September 2015 03:08 AM

    Good for Sri Lankankan , Now dance for the tune of USA and its alliance . you guys went against your own brother who lived with you for centuries and said extremist who safegurad the country .

    raj Wednesday, 16 September 2015 09:18 PM

    Report mentioned LTTE, Sri Lankan forces, and paramilitaries. Douglas Devenanda, Karuna, and Pillayan were running paramilitaries.


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