UNP: Govt. virtually surrendered to UN
By YOHAN PERERA
Feb 29, 2011
The main opposition UNP yesterday charged that the government had virtually surrendered to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva after putting up a show by getting public servants and government supporters to stage street protests in Colombo. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe had in his statement at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva undertaken to implement the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) just as it was stated in the US resolution on Sri Lanka.
Mr. Attanayake said this had been done while the other ministers were staging street protests over the resolution.
He said Minister Samarasinghe’s statement was contrary to what had been said by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa that Sri Lanka would not bow down at the UNHRC sessions.
Mr. Attanayake recalled that all this could have been avoided had the government implemented the LLRC recommendations soon after its report was tabled in parliament.
He said External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris had also made a muddle by declaring that Sri Lanka would take the security forces to any local court or before a court martial in the event war crimes allegations were proven. He said this could be interpreted as a request for an international war crimes tribunal under section 12 (3) of the Rome Convention on international criminal courts.
Mr. Attanayake said a signatory state of the Rome Convention could take another country to the international criminal courts if the accused volunteers for a probe.
“Ministers therefore should work with utmost diligence when handling international issues,” he said. “Why is the government blaming the UNP and the rest of the opposition when its own ministers are making statements in such an irresponsible manner?”
Responding to a question raised by journalists on one section in the resolution against Sri Lanka that the government should obtain technical assistance from UN when investigating into the human rights violations, Mr. Attanayake said Sri Lanka should give up the UN membership if the government was opposed to it.
Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka