Sri Lanka’s partnership with UN liable to go sour – SL Foreign Minister
[TamilNet, Friday, 19 March 2010, 08:59 GMT]
Unless Sri Lanka’s unique context and rising public anger against the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s proposed move to appoint a Panel of Experts to advise him on accountability issues relating to Sri Lanka are taken into consideration, the move has the potential to dent or sour the excellent partnership Sri Lanka has been enjoying with the UN since Independence, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said, according to Foreign Ministry sources in Colombo.
The government reiterated its position that the proposed move by the UN Secretary General to appoint a Panel of Experts to advise him on accountability issues relating to Sri Lanka is an infringement on the sovereignty of an independent Member State, without prejudice to the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.
The Foreign Minister said that the UN Chief should facilitate the proposed visit by Mr. Lynn Pascoe, the Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, to Sri Lanka following the General Elections to assess first hand, the progress made on key fronts and discuss the details of the proposed domestic mechanism to be set up by the Government.
“These issues can be dealt with by Sri Lanka that already has full fledged local mechanisms like the judiciary, commissions of inquiry to undertake such inquiries. Further, the situation in Sri Lanka is not on the agenda of either the Security Council or the General Assembly or its subsidiary body, the Human Rights Council. Therefore, this proposed measure can only be construed as an “intrusive unilateral initiative” by the UN Secretary General,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The timing of the proposed initiative to coincide with the election cycle in Sri Lanka smacks of a deliberate attempt to derive political mileage by providing unnecessary fodder to the opposition, to local and international apologists of the LTTE including to those remaining elements of the LTTE currently active abroad, it added.