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* Sri Lanka mission to the UN addresses human rights watchdog's concerns
Mon, Sep 19, 2011, 11:23 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 19, New York: Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to The United Nations in New York and his deputy recently met with the New-York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) to address the watchdog's concerns relating to the last stage of the war against Tamil Tiger terrorists.

Permanent Representative Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona and Deputy Ambassador General Shavendra Silva discussed the issues of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the rehabilitation of former Tamil Tiger combatants and the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) with the officials of the HRW.

The human rights watchdog has said that they were concerned on the issue of accountability and discouraged that no action has been to implement the interim recommendations of the LLRC submitted a year ago.

The Ambassador has pointed out that the suggestion that the interim recommendations were not implemented was false and the Sri Lankan government has made the changes to the law to expedite issuing death certificates and appointed an Inter Ministerial Committee to deal with the implementation of the recommendations, including land issues.

The latest measure taken by the government to comply with the interim recommendations of the LLRC is the withdrawal of emergency regulations, the diplomats pointed out.

Ambassador Kohona asked the HRW to take a reasonable effort to highlight the government's measures, especially, the short time taken by the Sri Lankan government to resolve most of those issues when compared to similar situations elsewhere.

The HRW pressing for an investigation on the accountability issue has suggested that the report of the Secretary General's Panel of Experts and the Channel 4 Documentary were sufficient to begin investigations.

The Deputy Ambassador Silva, challenging the credibility of those two items, has explained that the documentary produced by the Sri Lankan government "Lies Agreed Upon" provides a comprehensive refutation of the claims made in the Channel 4 documentary.

He pointed out that there were many factual inaccuracies which would compromise the credibility of the Expert Panel report in a court of law.

The Deputy Ambassador questioned the credibility of the HRW as it seems that it is only concerned on the last stage of the war while ignoring the atrocities committed by the LTTE for three-decades.

Both diplomats have expressed their commitment to engaging in a transparent and constructive dialogue with HRW and other human rights groups as Sri Lanka progressed in efforts of reconciliation and a sustainable peace, the Permanent Mission said.



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