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Top Lankan delegation for key session of UNHRC

[Zee News, Monday, 29 August 2011 15:14 No Comment]

(PTI) Sri Lanka will send a high-level delegation to a key session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) next month, amid a row with the world body over allegations of war crimes during the final phase of the ethnic conflict in the country.

The Sri Lankan delegation, headed by Foreign minister GL Peiris, will include senior ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Yapa and Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Foreign Ministry said here today.

Top Lankan delegation for key session of UNHRC

president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s international affairs co-ordinator would also be a member of the delegation.

The UNHRC session would be crucial for the government in the face of the UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon’s panel report which accused the government and the LTTE of war crimes during the final phase of the conflict which ended in May 2009.

Sri Lanka is opposed to the UNHRC sessions taking up the panel report issued by the former Indonesian Attorney General Marzuki Darusman, Steven Ratner, a US based lawyer, Yasmin Sooka, a South African human rights activist.

Ban appointed the panel to advise him on the alleged rights abuses during the final battle.

The government asserted that the report was bias in nature as the LTTE diaspora had contributed to it through unsubstantiated allegations against the government troops.

Sri Lanka had demanded more time to investigate the allegations through the proceedings of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

The report released in April was the subject of government led extensive local protests. A petition with one million signatures was organized against it.

The government also went on a diplomatic offensive against the report by making representations to Non Aligned Nations, most prominent of them India.

The governments of US, UK and India alongside the European Union have called for a Sri Lankan investigation in to the panel report findings.

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