Oman offers support to Sri Lanka

Apr 25, Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman has offered to support Sri Lanka to counteract the United Nations actions over the report of the Expert panel appointed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to probe war crime allegations against Sri Lanka.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah gave this assurance to Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris when the two met at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Muscat, Oman, on Sunday, April 24.

According to a External Affairs Ministry statement, Prof. Peiris has apprised the Omani Foreign Minister about the Expert Panel report and explained that publication of this report, which is not an official U.N. document, will inflict great damage on the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, especially at a time when Sri Lanka’s own investigative body, Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) is continuing with its work and has not yet submitted its report.

Prof. Peiris also informed his Omani counterpart of the reasons why any action based on the panel report, which was described as being entirely advisory, is demonstrably contrary to principle, and therefore unacceptable, the statement said.

In response, Foreign Minister Abdullah, has expressed the view that it is inappropriate to embark on any course of action which would have the effect of impeding the healing of wounds and the forging of a national consciousness of unity and solidarity, soon after Sri Lanka had emerged from a painful conflict.

“It is important to await the report of the local mechanism which Sri Lanka had set up, and consider the report objectively,” Foreign Minister Abdullah has said.

Foreign Minister Abdullah has told Minister Peiris that the Sultanate of Oman would request the U.N Secretariat not to proceed to publication of the panel report at this time.

Prof. Peiris, referring to the recent deliberations in the United Arab Emirates on the subject of piracy, has said that the government had succeeded not only in bringing peace and stability to Sri Lanka, but had also ensured that the sea lanes in the region remained safe for international navigation.

Sri Lanka had also handled difficult issues in such a manner as to prevent problems arising in respect of such matters as the proliferation of small arms, refugee issues and collaboration among terrorist groups in the region, the Minister has pointed out.

The Foreign Minister of Oman has agreed that this had resulted in considerable benefits not only for Sri Lanka but for peace and stability in the region, as a whole.

Prof. Peiris has requested Minister Alawi bin Abdullah to bring Sri Lanka’s views to the attention of the other countries comprising the Gulf Co-operation Council.

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