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UN Panel must meet Fonseka: UNP

[DailyMirror, Monday, 20 December 2010 19:15 No Comment]

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) said yesterday the visiting United Nations Experts Panel should be allowed to meet former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka as he had expressed willingness to face any international probe without harming the country or the security forces.

UNP front-liner Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference the objective of the visiting panel would be to carry out such a probe despite the government saying their visit was to testify before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

He said the government should make clear its stand on the matter as it was retired General Fonseka who was fully aware as to what happened during the final stages of the war. Besides he said the former war hero had already given an assurance that he would neither let down the country nor the security forces at any probe he faced.

Mr. Kiriella said the panel’s visit was a setback to the government which carried out vociferous campaign against any international interference.

He said this was the kind of situation which UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuirya pointed out in his recent statement that the government should probe allegations internally without opening the doors for any international intervention.

Mr. Kiriella said the government had agreed to allow the visit despite its earlier stand which was to threaten not to grant visas to the visiting UN panel.

He said this was happening despite the huge hue and cry with an aborted death fast against the appointment of the panel and added that the government had wasted a year without going in for a political solution and thus leaving room for international intervention.

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“This international setback would have been avoided if the government came out with a political solution just after the conclusion of the war in May last year,” Mr. Kiriella said.

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