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Sri Lanka Spin on S. Africa and ASEAN Played Role in UN Panel, Khmer Rouge Rajapaksa

[Inner City Press, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 09:33 No Comment]

In the wake of the UN belated disclosing the identities of the three members of its advisory panel on Sri Lanka war crimes, names that Inner City Press exclusively reported 25 hours before, on the evening of January 22 the politics behind the appointments were made clear to the Press.

Sri Lanka argued that its self investigation would be like South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Fine, then: Yasmin Sooka of that Commission was included on the panel, at the suggestion of South African advisor to Ban Ki-moon Nicholas Hayson.

Sri Lanka fashions itself not just South Asian but ASEAN writ large. So Marzuki Darusman of Indonesia was included. Indonesia is ASEAN’s bridge, on Myanmar and now Sri Lanka.

Nevertheless it was reported

A senior Sri Lankan official said appointing former Indonesian attorney general Marzuki Darusman as the head of the panel was “unfair” as he has been involved in the island before and has had disagreements with local authorities.

Mr. Darusman was a member of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) which quit observing human rights investigations in Sri Lanka in April 2008 after clashing with the local administration. ‘In that context, having this Indonesian in the panel could lead to a serious conflict of interest,’ the official who declined to be named said. He added that the government may come up with a formal response later.

Sri Lanka being so unprepared to fire back had no excuse. Inner City Press is informed that the Rajapaksa administration was informed in advance of the terms of reference.

UN’s Ban commits to Khmer court, Sri Lanka not yet shown

Its Permanent Representative to the UN was for reason out of town, despite Lynn Pascoe’s advance notice. One wag wondered, what do they say about rats leaving a sinking ship?

The inclusion of an American, Michael Ratner, most enraged the Rajapaksas. They need not worry so much: while this Ratner worked on the UN’s hybrid Cambodia court, justice there is slow and seeded with corruption. And the UN’s top legal officer refused to take questions from the Press on it.

[Full Coverage]

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