Protests across Sri Lanka against the UN Panel report

Apr 26, Colombo: Several protests have been planned across the country to condemn the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Expert Panel report on Sri Lanka’s accountability during the war, the state-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) reported today.

The SLBC said people in the Northern and Eastern provinces have vehemently condemned the advisory panel report and planned several demonstrations in Batticaloa, Trincomalee, and Vavuniya within the next few days.

Ruling party constituent, Sinhala nationalist party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) organized a massive demonstration yesterday in Kandy against the report that was made public by the UN Chief Monday afternoon in New York.

There were demonstrations throughout yesterday in Attanagalla and Nittambuwa, the SLBC reported.

Following the release of the report, the Secretary-General expressed concern over the safety of UN staff in Colombo.

In his statement released along with the report, the UN Chief said he trusts the Sri Lankan government to continue to respect the work of the UN and its agencies as well as its obligations to the safety of UN staff in Colombo.

He regretted the inflammatory tone of some of the recent public statements emanating from Sri Lanka.

The Panel’s report on the alleged war crimes committed during the final stage of the offensive against the Tami Tiger terrorists has united the people in Sri Lanka against the UN.

Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) has appointed its own committee chaired by senior diplomat Bradman Weerakoon to study the Expert Panel report and recommend the necessary measures to the party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe.

UNP parliamentarian and President’s Counsel, Wijedasa Rajapakse (no relation to President Rajapaksa) in a letter to the Secretary-General has said that the appointment of an Expert Panel contravened the provisions of the UN Charter.

/The MP has warned that the UN Chief must take responsibility for any catastrophe that might befall on the country from publishing the expert panel report.

Another constituent party of the ruling alliance, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna has said that it is not an official report of the United Nations but only an internal document of the panel appointed to advise the UN Chief. The party has completely rejected the advisory panel report.

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