Sri Lanka slams UN panel to probe war crimes
Sri Lanka on Wednesday criticised the appointment of a panel by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to investigate allegations of human rights violations during the last months of the government's war against separatist Tamil rebels.
"The move is unwarranted and unacceptable to a sovereign nation like Sri Lanka," media minister Keheliya Rambukwella said in a reaction to the panel's appointment late on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka has been facing increasing international pressure to investigate alleged rights abuses committed by both sides before Sri Lanka's military killed the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009, ending a 26-year civil war on the island.
The external affairs ministry was expected to give a detailed reaction on the panel's set-up, which went ahead despite government opposition to the UN plan.
The three-member panel is chaired by former Indonesian attorney general Marzuki Darusman and includes Yasmin Sooka, a human rights expert from South Africa, and Steven Ratner, a US lawyer, the UN office here said.
Sri Lanka last month appointed its own commission to investigate events during the last eight years of the conflict with the LTTE.
UN undersecretary general for political affairs Lynn Pascoe visited Sri Lanka last week where he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa and visited former combat zones.
He told reporters that the panel would advise the UN chief on how to look into accountably issues of events that took place during the final stages of the military operations.
The UN estimated that 7,500 civilians were killed in the last months of the civil war, a claim denied by the Sri Lankan government.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Soon after Blinken’s letter was accessed by Afghanistan’s Tolo News on Sunday afternoon, the US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, spoke over the phone with external affairs minister S Jaishankar to discuss the peace process.
- Protesters are stringing up women's clothing on lines across the streets of Myanmar to utilise a superstition in their favour.
- The US military's Central Command said the two B-52s flew over the region accompanied by military aircraft from nations including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
- Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s government, a charge that she, her supporters and rights groups vigorously deny.
- The cause of Khin Maung Latt's death was not known, but Reuters saw a photograph of his body with a bloodstained cloth around the head.