The recent report of the three member panel of United Nations experts on accountability issues which supposedly arose during the latter stages of the humanitarian operation has ingredients of the LTTE rump and the Tamil Diaspora, Government Spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella charged yesterday.
“The government, while glancing through the report, has arrived at the immediate conclusion that a majority of the statements which have been made within the commission report, also coincide and are remarkably the same as the statements which have been made by the LTTE rump and the Tamil Diaspora in the final stages of the war,” the minister told the Daily News.
“This report, has indirectly spelt out the voice of the LTTE, which has failed on all fronts, militarily and politically, and is extremely biased, flawed, one -sided and is unacceptable,” he said. He also said that the government would tread with extreme caution and will gradually map out a strategy both locally and internationally to counter the allegations, and added that deadlines and targets could not be spelt out at this stage.
The three -member Commission, chaired by Indonesia’s Marzuki Dharusman and comprising South Africa’s Yasmin Sooka and Stephen Ratner of the United States and appointed in May 2010, handed over the report to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on April 12 and the United Nations has shared a copy of the report with the government of Sri Lanka.
The UN also hoped to release the report to the public with the responses of the government of Sri Lanka.
Asked to comment on some of the allegations listed in the report and published, such as violation of humanitarian laws, systematic shelling of hospitals and No Fire Zones, and the LTTE refusing civilians permission to leave and using them as hostages to form a human buffer between themselves and the advancing Sri Lanka Army, the minister said that the government would not be commenting on bits and pieces of the report, but, instead, would map out a systematic strategy- locally and globally to counter it. The minister also said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa afforded an opportunity to the three members commission to provide evidence to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), instead of which, the commission went around collecting evidence from non-credible and biased sources.
The Government Spokesman also said that originally there were vehement protests by the government to the United Nations on the appointment of such a commission, as the UN did not have the mandate for the appointment of such a commission, without consent, to interfere in the affairs of a sovereign country which is also a UN member nation.
In the conduct of its mandate, the panel was expected to cooperate with concerned officials in Sri Lanka and was expected to also complete its advisory responsibilities within four months of the commencement of its work.
The minister said that even in the event of the government being taken to task based on the contents of the report at the level of the United Nations Security Council, strong members of the Council which are also friendly with Sri Lanka such as, India, Russia and China, will use all their veto powers which will be in favour of Sri Lanka.
“This is indeed an absurd situation where the democratic rights of a sovereign nation are being taken to task and here is a paradoxical situation where a nation which has just begun to enjoy the dividends of peace is put in a dilemma by an external power from somewhere which is trying to move without looking at the practical aspects of the situation and backdrop,” the minister said.
Courtesy: Daily News