VIDEO: UNP asks govt to declare stance on UN internal report

VIDEO: UNP asks govt to declare stance on UN internal report

November 20, 2012   03:13 pm

The government remaining silent and avoiding making a statement on the report of the internal probe by the UN, which has blamed its own Mission in Colombo for failing in its duty to protect civilians during the final stages of the war, will only prove the allegations against the country, says the UNP.

The internal inquiry, commissioned by the Secretary-General, concluded that the UN’s own conduct during the final months of Sri Lanka’s war marked a “grave failure.”

There was damning criticism of senior staff, who “simply did not perceive the prevention of killing of civilians as their responsibility.”

So far fingers were only pointed towards the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE organization over the unfortunate occurrences, however now the internal probe also accuses the UN office for failing in its mandate to protect thousands of civilians, MP Tissa Attanayake said.

However, when UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is acknowledging in an internal report that their own office failed in its duty, the Sri Lankan government is silent regarding this, he said.

Especially at a time when the matter is to be taken up at the UN Human Rights Council in March next year, the government is not stating its official stance regarding the report, the UNP General Secretary said.

He pointed out that President’s Special Human Rights Envoy, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe at a press conference had said that the government has no intention of expressing its views on the report as they reject it.

However, the External Affairs Ministry Secretary, Karunatilaka Amunugama had stated that there is no necessity to issue a statement as it is an internal report, Attanayake said.

“If it’s an internal matter, we should have remained silent regarding the Darusman Report,” he said.

The Darusman Report was compiled by a Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General to advise him on accountability issues concerning Sri Lanka.

As soon as this committee was appointed, the government launched a massive protest campaign against it while Minister Weerawansa even held a protest fast in front of the UN office obstructing its activities, and brining international criticism on government and country, he charged.

“When they were fasting and demonstrating against the Darusman Report they didn’t say it was an internal report.”

Tissa Attanayake further stated that the government silence and disregard of the internal report will have an adverse effect on the country when the UNHRC gathers in March and discusses this issue.  

He stressed that by continuing to remain silent on this report, the government is accepting all the facts contained in the report submitted to the United Nations secretary-general.

The UNP parliamentarian further rested the government to clearly stipulate its stance on the report and announce it to the parliament, country and the international.

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