UNITED NATIONS, April 21: The United Nations declared on Thursday that a report by its panel of experts on Sri Lanka “will be published in full and without amendment”, despite protests from the Sri-Lankan foreign minister.Responding to questions on the controversy generated by the report in Sri Lanka, spokesman Farhan Haq said: “As wev'e repeated from the outset it is our intention to release it as soon as possible.”
Mr Haq also said that the UN was awaiting a response from the government of Sri Lanka on the report saying “we would like to publish it simultaneously with a response from the Sri Lankan government”.
At a press conference in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister G.L. Perisis urged UN not to publish the report as it would stall the reconciliation process and damage relations between Sri Lanka and the world body.
The UN panel found “credible allegations” of civilian deaths, which it blamed mostly on the government, and urged the prosecution of those responsible for violations in the last stage of a quarter-century war with ethnic Tamil separatists.
Besides, excerpts of the findings of an advisory panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have been leaked to Sri Lankan newspapers.
“Everybody knew what happened, so what's the point of punishing now?”, asked Prithika Shanmugam, a 27-year-old Tamil, according to an agency report.
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris again rejected the report as flawed.
“The charges are unsubstantiated,” he said at the news conference also attended by his Bangladesh counterpart Dipu Moni. “The evidences are weak and not appropriate.”