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Sri Lanka Refuses to Co-operate with UN Probe
Apr 09, 2014

Sri Lanka has refused to cooperate with a UN investigation into alleged war crimes during the final phase of the country's civil war, saying it will not subject itself to the jurisdiction of the top rights body. External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka G.L. Peiris said, “We will not submit ourselves to this process. We have taken a clear position that we will not subject ourselves to the jurisdiction of the UN Human Rights Commissioner." 

Thisstatement came after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week said that he expected Sri Lanka to cooperate with the inquiry. Soon after the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka was adopted on March 27 at UNHRC session in Geneva, President MahindaRajapaksa said he was rejecting it. Sri Lanka's pre-resolution position was that UNHRC chief Navy Pillay had no mandate to order an international investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka maintained the resolution impinged on the island's sovereignty. The government blamed the Western governments of using human rights as a tool to punish the island's regime at the behest of the pro-LTTE diaspora.

However, the government will not prevent anybody from giving evidence to any such investigation as there could be various views from different people.  A UN panel has found credible evidence that around 40,000 mainly ethnic minority Tamil civilians were killed in the final phase of the civil war due to indiscriminate shelling, mostly by the army.Sri Lankan authorities have rejected the allegation.

Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister further stated that it is still not clear how the UN would conduct its probe.They will have to tell us what they want to do. But the clear policy decision had been taken that we do not associate ourself with the inquiry and we do not submit to the jurisdiction of the investigating committee. Sri Lanka insisted that would press ahead with its own reconciliation process five years after crushing Tamil Tiger rebels and declaring an end to 37 years of ethnic war which the UN estimates claimed at least 100,000 lives.


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