2ND LEAD

IIGEP members reiterate their stand, lament GoSL for diverting attention

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 April 2008, 18:33 GMT]
Members of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP), which terminated its observation mission reasoning that the proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry setup by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) did not satisfy basic international norms and standards, reiterated Wednesday that they stand by their "clear assertions" of their concluding statement which blamed the GoSL for the absence of political will to investigate Human Rights violations with vigour. Lamenting that the GoSL continues to "divert attention from the central truth," the IIGEP members said they disassociated themselves from any attempt by the GoSL to reformulate and re-interpret the concluding statement.

The IIGEP consists of 11 Eminent Persons: Justice P.N. Bhagwati (India) (Chairman), Judge Jean-Pierre Cot (France), Mr. Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia), Mr. Arthur E. “Gene” Dewey (USA), Prof. Cees Fasseur (Netherlands), Dr. Kamal Hossain (Bangladesh), Prof. Bruce Matthews (Canada), Mr. Andreas Mavrommatis (Cyprus), Prof. Sir Nigel Rodley (UK), Prof. Ivan Shearer (Australia) and Prof. Yozo Yokota (Japan).

Full text of the press statement issued by the IIGEP follows:

Colombo, 30 April 2008
Contact: IIGEP Public Information Office
Colombo Hilton Residence, Suite 705
No. 200, Union Place, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 (0) 11 2300306/8/9
Email: iigep@iigep.org


PRESS RELEASE

The Members of IIGEP Stand by their Concluding Public Statement

The Government of Sri Lanka has proclaimed that Justice PN Bhagwati, Chairman of the IIGEP, has clarified the IIGEP's assessment that the Government of Sri Lanka lacks the political will to ensure the success of the Commission of Inquiry. The Members of the IIGEP stand by the clear assertions of their Concluding Public Statement, and disassociate themselves from any attempt by the Government of Sri Lanka to reformulate and re-interpret that unanimously agreed text.

In fact, the letter to H.E. the President from Justice PN Bhagwati merely expresses the obvious, namely that the IIGEP cannot know for sure, but fears ('apprehends') that the political will is absent. It is lamentable that the Government of Sri Lanka continues to divert attention from the central truth in this matter – that is, the problem of impunity for serious human rights violations and the need for the Commission to get to the bottom of that impunity.

The IIGEP's positions, including its observations of the work of the Commission, are reflected in the six public statements it has made, which are available at the IIGEP website (www.iigep.org). They contain all the information necessary to refute all the smears and misrepresentations levelled by the Government of Sri Lanka against the IIGEP and its eminently professional Assistants.


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