UN principles violated:
Panel report only for Ban’s info - External Affairs Minister
The government believes that the attempted publication of the panel
report on Sri Lanka, which was authorized by the United Nations
Secretary General, for the purpose of gathering “insights for his own
views,” “is basically wrong and contrary to the principles underpinning
the United Nations Charter.”
“The panel has clearly acted in ways beyond its mandate by refusing
to confine itself to offering advice to the United Nations Secretary
General and assuming for itself, a function which involves adjudication
of a kind, suggestive of a quasi-judicial role.
“This was never contemplated as a part of its mandate,” External
Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris told this newspaper in an exclusive
He expressed his surprise and that of the government on conclusions
made in the panel report released April 12.
“It is in need astonishing that the panel thought that it was deemed
fit and proper to reach conclusions on a wide range of matters currently
being examined by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)
appointed under the provisions of Sri Lankan Statute law,” Prof Peiris
told the Daily News yesterday. Earlier, Media Minister Keheliya
Rambukwella said that the government would tread with extreme caution
and gradually map out a strategy, both locally and internationally, to
counter the allegations in the panel report.
He said the report has ingredients of the LTTE rump and those of the
“The appointment of the LLRC was universally acclaimed,” the External
Affairs Minister said.
“Foreign governments expressed confidence in the Commission and
conferred their good wishes and felicitations on the Commission’s good
work. The Commission had held its sittings in not only Colombo, but in
the Northern and the Eastern Provinces and has already submitted a
series of interim recommendations of the LLRC,” he said.
This committee is headed by the Attorney General and comprises
secretaries to seven ministries which are actively involved in the
implementation of the recommendations.
“In these circumstances, it is quite bizarre that the panel should
take upon itself to treat the Sri Lankan statutory body as though it did
not exist, to dismiss it in the most cavalier fashion imaginable and to
formulate its own recommendations while the LLRC is continuing its work,
Prof Peiris noted.
“Representatives of western governments have had no difficulty in
accepting the position of the Sri Lankan government that they should
await the publication of the report of the Sri Lankan Commission and
assess it objectively and dispassionately.
Prof Peiris said that when he recently visited a western capital, the
representatives of the government in question, clearly articulated this
position and that no prejudgment was permissible.
However, the minister said, that the attitude of the panel has been
the opposite. There has been absolutely no justification for the
insensitivity and arrogance with which the Sri Lankan commission has
been ignored, he remarked.
Commenting on the reaction of the panel on Sri Lanka vis-a-vis a
probable backdrop of similar situations that could arise in other parts
of the world, he said: “What is sought to be done in respect of Sri
Lanka, on this occasion will have to be done in future in other
situations as well.
Sri Lanka cannot be singled out for discriminatory treatment because
this would tantamount to cynical violation of the doctrine of sovereign
quality of states which is one of the core values embedded in the United
”If this is allowed to happen, it would have distressing implications
for the United Nations as well,” he added.