When Kohona met Diaz

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 July 2011, 01:41 GMT]
After meeting the head of Amnesty International’s UN office, Jose Luis Diaz, last week, Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the UN, Palitha Kohona, issued a statement with his account of what happened. The lengthy statement, published on the Sri Lankan mission’s website, suggested Amnesty had sought the meeting with Kohona, and had received a dressing down from him, in the face of which the rights group had been silent. The statement also detailed what Dr. Kohona had supposedly lectured Amnesty on. Amnesty, however, has a different recollection of what happened. To begin with, it was Sri Lanka that had sought ‘constructive dialogue’. Moreover, rather than a dialogue, the meeting had been one of Sri Lankan denials of any wrongdoing.



“Amnesty International had a different interpretation of the meeting and was, in fact, disappointed that after the Sri Lankan government expressed a desire for a more constructive dialogue, the tone of the meeting remained one of denial that any wrongdoing had occurred,” Jim McDonald, Amnesty International USA's Sri Lanka Country Specialist, told The Sunday Leader newspaper.

“Amnesty International believes that an international investigation is needed, whether or not Sri Lanka engages in domestic inquiries,” Mr. McDonald also told The Sunday Leader when asked if, after the meeting, AI felt that Sri Lanka's domestic mechanism was enough.

See Dr. Kohona’s statement here.


Chronology:

 

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