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Stay away from our affairs: Lanka to UN chief

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Press Trust Of India

Last Updated: May 24, 2010, 18:43 IST

Stay away from our affairs: Lanka to UN chief

UN plans to probe the alleged atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan army against the LTTE.

United Nations: Sri Lanka today asked UN Chief Ban Ki-moon not to interfere in its internal affairs and not to go ahead with the probe into alleged war crimes by its army against the defeated LTTE, amidst an international clamour by rights groups for an independent inquiry.

"...There is no justification legal or moral for this step (UN probe) to be taken at this time," Foreign Minister G L Peiris told PTI here ahead of his maiden meeting with Ban.

"Don't complicate matters at this stage. It's not going to do any good. It has the potential of doing real harm in a situation where the government of Sri Lanka, against overwhelming odds, is trying to move the processes forward," he said.

Peiris said he will ask Ban not to interfere in the internal matters of Sri Lanka and allow Colombo to conduct a domestic probe into the issue.

Peiris, who is on his first official visit to the United States and is set to hold talks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, noted that the appointment of a foreign panel will lead to confusion in the investigation and resentment among the public.

For the past two months, Ban has been in the process of finding experts for an advisory panel that will counsel him on what accountability issues that arise with regards to alleged human rights abuses that took place in the months leading to the government defeating the LTTE in May 2009.

Last week, a new report by the Brussels based International Crisis Group (IRC) accused Colombo of being responsible for the large-scale loss of civilian lives and blamed the UN for "failing" to seek accountability.

"Evidence gathered by Crisis Group provides reasonable grounds to believe that government security forces repeatedly and intentionally violated the law by attacking civilians, hospitals and humanitarian operations," the report said.

Last week, Sri Lanka had announced constitution of a 'reconciliation commission' to probe rights abuses during the last seven years of war with the Tamil Tigers amid mounting pressure from international groups.

The three decade war ended when Sri Lankan Army launched their final assault on the Tamil Tigers killing their supremo Vellupillai Prabhakaran.
first published:May 24, 2010, 18:43 IST
last updated:May 24, 2010, 18:43 IST