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* Sri Lanka rejects UN experts panel and would not cooperate, says Foreign Minister
Sat, Apr 3, 2010, 11:01 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 03, Colombo: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama says that the country has out rightly rejected the panel of experts that is being formed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to advice him on accountability issues related to Sri Lanka's war.

Bogollagama said there was no question about Sri Lanka even cooperating with such a panel if formed, as the country has outright rejected it.

He said the UN should have given more time for the Sri Lankan government following the end of the war in May last year. He said the government had only nine months to resolve the issues related to the three-decade long war.

He also noted that the UN was trying to appoint a panel of experts to look into Sri Lanka when it took nine years for the organization to appoint a committee to probe UK's conduct during the Iraq war.

Bogollagama said that the government hoped the UN would act with mutual respect in relation to Sri Lanka.

However, Mr. Ban has stated that the panel of experts would be appointed without any delay and is currently in the process of selecting members for the panel.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband making a special statement on Sri Lanka last week expressed hope that the government would address political, social, economic, and human rights issues, as they were areas of concern in relation to the country's future.


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