Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday said the U.N. team investigating Sri Lanka’s rights record will not be permitted to come into the country.
“We are not accepting it [the probe]. We are against it. They have no mandate to do it,” he said, referring to the international inquiry mandated by the U.N. Human Rights Council, adding that Sri Lanka did not recognise their jurisdiction. The Sri Lankan government would however continue to engage with the U.N. system, and has not “walked out of it”.
Following the adoption of the U.S.-backed resolution by the U.N. Human Rights Council in March, calling for an international probe into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, the government rejected the move and said it would offer no cooperation in this regard.
On outgoing U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay’s recent remarks that the United Nations could conduct an effective investigation into reports of war crimes in Sri Lanka without visiting the country, Mr. Rajapaksa said: “You can see how biased she is.”
The Tamil National Alliance, which holds power in the island’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, had recently said those who wished to testify before the international panel could do so through the TNA. Asked to respond, Mr. Rajapaksa said: “They [TNA] can go and come. They were the proxies for the LTTE, they will know.”