India is studying the UN panel report on Sri Lanka

Apr 26, Colombo: India today said that it has seen a copy and is studying the report of the UN Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary-General to advise him on accountability in Sri Lanka during the last phase of the armed conflict between the government forces and the Tamil Tiger terrorists.

The official spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that the issues raised by the Panel of Experts need to be studied carefully and the Indian government would soon engage with the Lankan government about those issues.

“The Government has seen the Report of the Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary General to advise him on accountability-related issues in the context of the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009. The issues raised in the Report need to be studied carefully. As a first step, we intend to engage with the Government of Sri Lanka on the issues contained in the Report,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Indian media reported that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had called up Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after receiving a copy of the report on April 12.

The three-member Expert Panel has found credible evidence of war crimes committed by both the Sri Lankan forces and the terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and recommended an independent international enquiry into the alleged killing of “tens of thousands of civilians” in the last phase of the war.

The Panel concluded that the Sri Lanka’s own investigative body, Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed by the Sri Lankan President fails to satisfy international standards.

However, the UN Secretary-General in his statement said yesterday he was advised that establishing an international investigation mechanism will require host country consent which means Sri Lanka’s permission, or a decision from Member States through an appropriate intergovernmental forum such as the UN General Assembly or Security Council.

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