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* UN Chief's advisory panel on Sri Lanka to meet this week
Wed, Sep 15, 2010, 12:52 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 15, Colombo: The Panel of Experts appointed by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Sri Lanka is to meet with the Secretary-General this week, marking the formal commencement of its activities, the UN said Tuesday.

Responding to a media query on whether the panel has begun officially, the Secretary-General's Spokesperson Martin Nesirky said the panel members and support staff have been conducting intensive preparatory work and will meet with the Secretary-General this week, marking the formal commencement of its activities and starting the four-month clock for it to finish its investigations.

The final report of the Panel of Experts, which is expected four months after commencing official sessions, is expected to advise the UN Secretary-General on the implementation of the commitment to human rights accountability as agreed by the Sri Lankan Government in 2009.

Sri Lanka vehemently opposed the appointment of the panel saying that it is unnecessary and unwarranted as the government has already set in motion a mechanism to probe the events took place during a seven-year period prior to the conclusion of the war.

When questioned whether the UN Chief has any comment on the removal of term limits for the incumbent President by the recent passage of the 18th Amendment to Sri Lanka Constitution, the spokesperson said the UN has no comment on that as it was an internal matter.

Regarding the alleged banning of the current edition of the Economist magazine, Nesirky said the UN's general view would be that freedom of the media is an essential part of, an essential ingredient for democracy in any country.



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