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* Sri Lanka monk party protests against UN Panel
Mon, Jun 28, 2010, 08:39 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jun 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Buddhist nationalist party Jathika Hela Urumaya today led a protest against the Panel of Experts appointed by the United Nations to advise the Secretary-General on the alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka's war against Tamil Tiger rebels.

JHU party leader Omalpe Sobitha Thera led the protest held in front of the United Nations office in Colombo.

Hundreds of monks and laymen held posters and shouted slogans to denounce the appointment of the three-member panel by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week to investigate the alleged violations of human rights and humanitarian laws during the later stages of the war.

The protestors accused the world body of duplicity and acting as a terrorist proxy.

"The UN has no right or authority to appoint a committee. It is interfering with internal affairs of a sovereign nation and acting as agents of terrorists," Omalpe Sobitha Thera said addressing the crowd.

Sri Lanka vehemently opposed the idea of appointing an expert panel to advise the UN Chief saying that the allegations are an internal matter and the government has already set in motion a mechanism to address the accountability issues.

The government called the UN chief's panel 'unwarranted and unnecessary' and accused the UN of having a 'hidden agenda' to help the vanquished terrorist group LTTE.

Several nations including Russia, China, Iran and the 118-member Non Aligned Movement criticized the appointment of the Panel of Experts while the US and Norway welcomed it.

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