The Government today refused to comment on a document a British television station claims could undermine international investigations into the war.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said the Government was aware of the British ‘Channel 4’ news report on the document but will not comment on such media reports.
Channel 4 News reported this week that it has been supplied with the leaked UN document which it claim could pre-empt and undermine September’s Human Rights Council discussion on a UN’s long-awaited investigation into crimes committed at the end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war.
According to the UN tens of thousands of Tamil civilians died in the closing stages of the Sri Lankan military’s war against the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers.
The UN says most of those civilians died in government shelling as they were crammed into ever-diminishing “No Fire Zones” – though the Tamil Tigers are also alleged to have committed grave abuses including suicide bombings and the use of human shields.
Channel 4 News said the document appears to be have been created by the UN in conjunction with the Sri Lankan government, and outlines plans to set up a purely domestic inquiry into human rights violations – with technical support from the UN.
Most human rights groups regard plans for an internal judicial process as unacceptable and many warn it would inevitably be seen as a “victor’s court”.
The leaked UN plan claims that the “implementing partners” for the scheme would include, along with the Sri Lankan government, the Tamil-dominated Northern Provincial Council, widely seen as representing the popular voice of the Tamils.
But that council’s chief minister, former Sri Lankan Supreme Court Judge CV Wigneswaran, told Channel 4 News that the UN had not even consulted them on the plan.
He added that despite the fact that under the scheme the council stood to receive half a million dollars in funding, he was minded to reject it. (Colombo Gazette)