The Sunday Leader

Government Slams UN Panel


Keheliya Rambukwella At Media Briefing

The Ministry Of External Affairs has released a statement strongly opposing the UN Secretary General’s appointment of a Panel Of Experts. This panel has been set up to advise the Secretary General on the human rights violations that may have taken place at the end of the war with the LTTE. The Government insists that its own Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission is adequate and appropriate to answer all question related to the end of the war.

Government – Unwarranted And Unnecessary Interference

Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said “ For the UN to have a parallel probe is to pre-judge and undermine a process that Sri Lanka has begun as part of its national reconciliation and establishing lasting peace.”

The Ministry Of External Affairs has also expressed strong opposition to the UN panel. Their statement reads “Sri Lanka regards the appointment of the Sri Lanka – Panel of Experts as an unwarranted and unnecessary interference with a sovereign nation. This interference, moreover, has potential for exploitation by vested interests hostile to the process of reconciliation taking place in Sri Lanka.”

Furthermore, Rambukwella accused the UN of having a ‘hidden agenda’. He released a statement which read “The United Nations appointing of a Panel of Experts to advise the Secretary General on accountability of activities that took place towards the last end of war in Sri Lanka is uncalled for and unnecessary.”

Tamil Diaspora Groups Welcome Commission

The External Affairs Ministry refered to ‘vested interests hostile to the process of reconciliation taking place in Sri Lanka.’ That may have been a tacit response to Tamil diaspora groups which have been lobbying for this Panel Of Experts for months. The Sunday Leader contacted one such group, the US based Tamils Against Genocide.

“We feel is that this is an important first step to begin the process of finding a long term solution for the Tamil struggle. We feel that if proper accountability is achieved especially for the last five months then that would be the first step in beginning the reconciliation. Development and other types of inducements that the West and Sri Lanka are trying to placate the tamils is not going to work.”

Their spokesman continued, “The main thing is that the expatriates will never give up. We would still be collecting enough evidence to show that at least a few officials would have violated international law.”

Local Tamil Politician Says OK

The Sunday Leader contacted Sri Lankan MP Suresh Premachandran for comment. He said that the commission was OK since there had been many allegations.

“The point is this. The Tamil people are the suffered people. So many people have been killed in wartime but the govt says not even a single person has been killed. But so many people lost children, husband, brothers-in-law. So many people met us when we went to the Wanni and Kilinochchi area, we met so many widows. That is the reality.”

He said that as long as the commission supported these peoples efforts to find truth and compensation he supported their efforts.

UN – A Resource Sri Lankans Can Turn To

The UN, of course, has been more diplomatic about the purpose and place of the commission. During his visit to Sri Lanka the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe said that “Responsibility for carrying out a credible process that meets international standards rests first and foremost with the authorities of Sri Lanka… The Secretary-General intends soon to establish a Panel of Experts that will advise him on international standards and comparative experiences with accountability. It will also be available as a resource that the Sri Lankans can turn to if they wish.”

When asked whether the appointment of this panel was fair he responded “Let’s be very clear that Sri Lanka is a member of the UN in good standing. It is signatory to the international human rights conventions. It has the same human rights obligations that everyone else has in the world. I think that this is something that every citizen of Sri Lanka is proud of and wants.”

The Ministry Of External Affairs statement, however, points to that very good standing within the UN as a reason why this panel is unnecessary.

“Sri Lanka is a sovereign state with a robustly independent judiciary and a tried and tested system for the administration of justice. The Government of Sri Lanka has consistently promoted and protected human rights. Indeed, this has been explicitly acknowledged by legitimate organs of the United Nations system. The Human Rights Council of the United Nations has formally adopted, after the cessation of the conflict situation, a resolution commending, inter alia, the commitment of Sri Lanka to the promotion and protection of human rights.”

30 Comments for “Government Slams UN Panel”

  1. Malin

    This panel of so called experts(Experts in what?) is totally unwarranted and gross interference with country’s sovereignity. Only thing the Tamil Diaspora supporting the LTTE were drinking champaigne when they heard the news. This shows that Banki has been influenced by the filthy rich terrorist outfit LTTE.

    • Jane Warrant

      What are you afraid of Malin? Filthy rich Tamils, you say. Unless the Tamils have a time machine to go back and change the past, there is nothing to worry about. If no one died as MR has been saying, nothing to worry about. Truth will come out.

    • KARUNA AMMAN

      Malin,

      Please write something sensible. If you have the brain to think you would not stoop down to this level. Keep your hand on your chest and think like a human not like the blood thirsty Rajapakse Inc.

      Who are you trying to fool. iF YOUR GOVERNMENT IS NOT GUILTY OF THE ATROCITIES THEN WHY SHOULD STOOGES LIKE YOU WORRY?

      GROW UP MAN.

    • Barai

      Totally Agree. UNP we should protest and object to this with street demos. That is what we UNPers want now. UN should first appoint a committee to check Iraq and Falkland Island wars.

    • Barai

      Totally agree.

  2. karasi

    We need to know the truth, so that tamil people can move on and the sri lankan government must take responsibilty for their actions and not use excuses to get out of it.

  3. Swiss Sis

    A government that doesn’t violate human rights can invite such a panel completely unstressed. The reaction of the Sri Lankan government just opens the way for more international mistrust. Not very clever in my opinion.

    • Barai

      UN in the paylist of LTTE ? UNP protest and show your patriotic nature. Wake up the DSs, Dudlyeys, Kothalawalas, JRs Premadasas and DBs in you. Throw out Ranil the unpatriotic guy.

    • Barai

      No need to invite them Can we appoint a panel investigate war crimes in Iraq, Kuwait, Falkland Islands, Afghanistan, then how about the UN Secretary General’s own country Japan who killed over 50 million people in the second world war and our own JR quoting damma forgave and asked US, Europe and Asia to forgive Japan ? Mr. Ban remember the good this little SL did for your country and got the whole world to forgive Japan. If not Japan would have been in debt to the world even now and not a super power. Mr. Ban remember whom your friends were. Normally Japanese do and not this man.

      • karasi

        Hello Barai, Why are you worried about other countries. There are Amnesty International and other organisations will sort this out. These organisations have evidence that Sri Lanka has committed war crimes and you sound so narrow minded- UN in the paylist of LTTE, please talk sense.

      • ira

        Ban(this)-Moon is from south Korea.

      • respect

        -Barai

        For Your Information:
        Mr. Ban was born in Eumseong in a small farming village in North Chungcheong, (is a province in the center of South Korea.) in 1944 at the end of the Japanese rule of Korea.

        Please read background of key people before you write to internet.

        By the way, if you are stand for “pure” , “no guilty” , “no war crimes” , “no human right violation” etc… why you do people so much worry about UN or EU presence in Sri Lanka. Could it be nation-building process of our country after 30 years of war?

  4. LOVETHYNEIGHBOURS

    Somersault Keheliya,

    Are you worried about the atricities meted out to the defenceless civilians are going to be exposed?

    If you have done nothing wrong why are you worried about any committees or commissions or investigatins??

    • Barai

      These victims cannot be avoided in any war. UN will do well to investigate the Iraq and Kuwait wars. And UN Secretary General u are a Japanese I guess , now how about all the bombings Japan did killing more than 50 million or more people ? Why did US bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki and kill millions with a Atom Bomb ? Because there was no other way to stop the Japanese killers. So the whole world approved the Atom bombing of Japan. Similarly LTTE was bombing and killing inoocent people all over the country. What do you do ? You talk peace with them for 29 years and it does not work ? What do u do. U bomb them alright and kill them. Now in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were they soldiers who were killed ? They were all civilians, with no connections to war. As it was correct, the SL troops measure to end LTTE military machine is also correct. Now SL under SLFP or new UNP patriotic leaders will eliminate the foreign clout of LTTE as well. UNP let’s be patriotic and tell Japan to tell UN leader to be unbiased.

  5. Arunasiri Yapa

    Finally, this racist, murderious corrupt regime will be dealt the final blow. Sri lanka is a third world under-developed garbage dump.

    • Barai

      Arunasiri, First think about the country then let’s chase the corrupt regime. Do not talk about Sri Lankan affairs to the EU , US etc. DS, Dudley, SWRD, Sirima, JR, Premadasa, DB, Chandrika and even MR never did that. Only one Homo bugger did that. We want that fellow thrown out of the UNP and a patriotic leader installed and democracy established in UNP. Then that leader will chase this corrupt regime after some very hard work.

    • Barai

      Man first let’s get the corrupt regime out in the UNP. So many accusations. Let’s make UNP more democratic and then the regime can be overturned.

  6. Vathy

    This panel is just a first step and that too after a long time. The SL government’s commission is made to tell the world that Tamil’s land should be taken and they must remain oppressed. However, one day or another, the genocide since 1948, will be proved in the UN and Tamil Eelam will be liberated.

    • Barai

      What genocide are you talking about man, must be in your dreams. U create an Ealam in EU man. That is the best bet.

  7. MOHAMED ASFAR

    anunasiri yapa, when people like you live in sri lanka of course we can say it is a garbage dump. you are right. but recently we have completely destroyed people like you from the our motherland and now marching forward steadily towards prosperity and very soon we will be the miracle of asia. then cry louder from your refugee tent
    somewhere in europe because you will not be permitted to come to our blessed land.

    • karasi

      Mohamed, Why are you acting in a coward manner. Let UN investigate, if not you are showing to the world the government is guilty of crimes. They say not 1 civilian was killed, let Un have that evidence.

  8. sena

    Sovereignity? whose. How about the 40,000 Bombed and Killed who is responsible. One should also not forget Manamperi and 25,000 others in 1970′s then Wijeweera and others in 1989 where was their Sovereignity. Now that there are millions chased out of the country by these pig head politicians we see the UN being pursued by the diaspora and these politicians are being pursued . Hopefully politics and the greed to be in power by these crazy people will now come to an end when these guys learn their popper lesson

  9. Barai

    UN How about the US and EU carpet bombing Iraq with B50 fleets. Not an inch in some areas of Iraq was spared it is said million died. How about a UN panel for that first. Physician heal thyself. I am a UNP supporter. I will vote UNP next time as well. But country before self or even UNP man. That is the way to go. That is why I love Sajit, Rukman and Dayasiri. To hell with Ranil who is telling tales to UN, EU and making the situation worse thinking that will bring UNP to power. I do not want UNP to come to power that way ever.

  10. nada

    Hi SL,
    If you are above board, why not allow Ban to search for the truth regarding war crimes?Forming a panel locally would be like setting a thief to catch a thief.More over, you have to bear in your mind that envying the world would amount to weeding out SL globally.You can put up a man who really sleeps but not a man who pretends so!

  11. Vathy

    Barai, you are the one opposing any investigation. Only when there is an international investigation done, Tamils who are oppressed by the Sinhalease can get any kind of justice. UNP of course did one good thing though their intentions were different. When they organized communal riots in 1983 they did not thing that the world would become aware of the plight of Tamils. Similarly the genocide done by this government in the name of terrorism should be and will be investigated. You are ready to accept the word “terrorist” created by U.S and put it on our freedom fighters but you do not want any sanctions by them.

  12. p.L.J.B.Palipana

    Dear Keheliya and Lakshman,
    I think this is the time you must get a decision whether you are at home or defend this useless unpopular MR regime.

    • Psycho

      Unpopular? Didnt you know that he was elected with a massive majority in a country called “Sri Lanka”? Sorry he didnt contest for election in Canada OK.

  13. P.L.J.B.palipana

    Lakshman, we could discuss this matter further if we could meet in Ethkanda Viharaya, Kurunegala.
    The National Security is completely depend on our women. I love very much women of SriLanka and your responsibility is eliminate completly the Mal Nutrition of the population.

  14. Fairose

    What is patriotic? Hiding the truth or Revealing the truth. What is just? Keep a tight-lip or Speak-out the massacre of the innocent tamils whose enemy were both LTTE and the Sri Lankan Army. Although, I am against the indiscriminate bombing and shelling that took thousands of innocent tamil lives, most us were relieved the war is over and terrorism has ended. But the policies that current leaders try to pursue seem to help the Diaspora who have all the resources except the manpower to regroup and create a terrorist leader who will more lethal than Prabakaran. Can Sri Lanka effort to have another armed conflict to end terrorism? No, not again. Enough we spilled blood for Language, Enough we spill blood for Land, Enough we spill blood for Race. Let us all unite to create one Sri Lanka where every has equal opportunity. Likewise, let us all join hand to oppose the UN Panel who will dig only the animorsity of the past.

  15. Psycho

    Any panels to investigate affairs of the west against Iraq and Afganistan.?

    UN doesnt have the backbone to do it

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