US encourages Sri Lanka to use UN panel report to address accountability issues

Apr 15, Washington, D.C.: The United States says that Sri Lanka should use the expertise of the United Nations Panel of Experts to address the accountability issues during the later stages of the war between government forces and Tamil Tiger terrorists.

“We, obviously, have encouraged the Sri Lankan Government to engage in a process of accountability and to also use this panel of experts and their expertise, obviously, to address some of the questions,” the Acting Deputy Department Spokesman Mark C. Toner said at the daily press briefing on Thursday in response to a media question.

When asked whether the U.S. believes the Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission appointed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sufficient to address the violations allegedly committed during the military operation, the spokesman said the U.S. believes the LLRC is a good step.

“We believe that the Lessons Learnt commission and Reconciliation commission were good steps. But we believe also that the UN Panel of Experts is a useful asset and should be taken advantage of by the government.”

The Panel of Experts handed over its report to the UN Secretary-General on Tuesday (12). The UN has provided a copy to the Sri Lankan government before it is being made public.

The Sri Lankan government has rejected the report as ‘flawed and biased’.

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