Sri Lanka says release of UN report is divisive and disrupts peace efforts

Apr 27, Colombo: The government of Sri Lanka said the public release of the United nations Secretary-General’s Expert Panel report at this stage is divisive, disrupts government’s efforts to reinforce peace, security and stability in Sri Lanka and feeds into the political agendas of interested parties.

Issuing a statement to reiterate the government’s stand that the report handed over to the UN Chief by the Panel appointed by him is fundamentally flawed in many respects, the Ministry of External Affairs said the “Darusman Report” on accountability in Sri Lanka is based on biased material that is presented without any verification.

The Ministry said the government, after ending the war in May 2009, has given the highest priority to post-conflict reconciliation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and development.

The government said it is in the process of addressing these challenges and has recorded significant success on many fronts, including in the resettlement of internally displaced persons, restoring livelihood in conflict affected areas, release of former child soldiers recruited by terrorists, rehabilitation of detainees, de-mining, restoring democratic processes in the North and East as well as in the reconstruction of housing and infrastructure.

“We are moving gradually and confidently forward along a process that will consolidate national unity and progress,” the Ministry statement said.

The government noted that the UNSG has however recognized that the primary responsibility to probe the allegations of war crimes cited by the report lies with a domestic mechanism.

The government says the UN member states have welcomed its own Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) that has put in place to deal with a range of issues relevant to the conflict with a view to promoting reconciliation and confidence among people.

“The conclusions of the externally constituted “Darusman Panel” working from New York should not take precedence over the conclusions, still awaited, of the domestic process,” the Ministry stressed.

To proceed with the interim recommendations of the LLRC, the Government says it has established an Inter-Agency Committee consisting of seven key Ministries to provide urgent relief and to move the reconciliation process forward while installing confidence among the conflict-affected people.

The government says it has already taken action on the issues identified by the LLRC through the testimony it received from affected civilians across the country

“The “Darusman Report” refers to many issues which are alleged to have occurred in Sri Lanka and which are currently subject to a domestic process. This material can be looked at by the LLRC should it wish to do so, depending on its own assessment of the contents,” the Ministry said.

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