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Updated: March 7, 2010 09:26 IST

U.N. move uncalled for: Rajapaksa

B. Muralidhar Reddy
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UNCALLED FOR: President Mahinda Rajapaksa takes exception to the UN Secretary General's intention to appoint a panel of experts to look into accountability issues in Sri Lanka. Photo: AP
AP UNCALLED FOR: President Mahinda Rajapaksa takes exception to the UN Secretary General's intention to appoint a panel of experts to look into accountability issues in Sri Lanka. Photo: AP

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has objected to the intention of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to appoint a panel of experts to advise him (Mr. Ban) on Sri Lanka and said the move was uncalled for.

On February 26, Mr. Ban's spokesperson had said in New York that Mr. Ban had informed Mr. Rajapaksa in the course of a telephone conversation about his intention on the panel. Mr. Ban's spokesperson had said the panel would advise him on the way forward on accountability issues.

Since the military defeat of the LTTE in May, various functionaries in the U.N. have been issuing statements on the need for a committee to investigate alleged human rights violations in the 34-month long Eelam War IV. Colombo has rejected the suggestion and repeatedly pointed out to the resolution by the Human Rights Commission lauding Sri Lanka on the military defeat of the Tigers.

The President's Secretariat here on Saturday quoted Mr. Rajapaksa as pointing out to Mr. Ban no such action had been taken regarding other states with continuing armed conflicts on a large scale, involving major humanitarian catastrophes.

Mr. Ban was told that Sri Lanka had concluded its armed conflict with the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world, more than nine months ago, and was in the process of working towards strengthening national reconciliation.

The statement quoted Mr. Rajapaksa as telling Mr. Ban how interested forces attempted such interference, including by trying to draw in the U.N. and other fora, in the recently-concluded presidential election too, which has been internationally accepted as being peaceful, free and fair.

It said Mr. Rajapaksa informed Mr. Ban that he had already, as a further measure of reconciliation, appointed a special committee to study and report on the lessons from the conflict situation that prevailed in some parts of Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, on the invitation of Sri Lanka, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao arrived here on a three-day visit.

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