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* Sri Lanka unlikely to question legality of UN report despite speculations
Fri, Feb 7, 2014, 11:59 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 07, Colombo: Despite speculations in legal and diplomatic circles, Sri Lanka may not challenge the legality of the UN Secretary General's Panel of Experts' Report on which the two US-sponsored resolutions against Sri Lanka were based on, a senior government official said.

Speaking to state-run Daily News, the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga has said that it is unlikely that Sri Lanka will question the legality of the UN panel and may take a different course of action on the issue.

A recent research paper published in the Foreign Policy Journal argued that the United Nation's Sri Lanka strategy is flawed and Sri Lanka should petition the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an Advisory Opinion on the legality of the UN's report on Sri Lanka which was the basis for the two resolutions against the country.

Weeratunga, who chairs the task force monitoring the National Plan of Action on the implementation of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Report, said the President will soon name the delegation that will participate in the United Nations Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva next month.

When asked whether he will be included in the Sri Lanka's delegation for UNHRC sessions Weeratunga replied that he had already briefed the international community on Sri Lanka's progress in implementation of LLRC recommendations.

The President has not yet made a decision on who will lead the delegation to the UNHRC next month.

The government, anticipating a serious challenge from the international community at the UNHRC session has laucnched a diplomatic offensive to enlighten the member states on the measures taken for reconciliation and to address other critical issues.

The government has sent envoys to the member countries to enlighten them on Sri Lanka's progress since the end of the three-decade long war in 2009.

Weeratunga last month visited Geneva and Washington to brief the relevant officials on the actions Sri Lanka has already taken and future actions to be taken regarding the resolutions passed at the UNHRC in the past two years.

The human rights situation in Sri Lanka will come under scrutiny before the UNHRC at its 25th session, which is to be held from 3 to 28 March 2014. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanetham Pillay will present a comprehensive report on the implementation of Human Rights Council resolution 22/1 on Sri Lanka of March 2013 as well as a report on her fact-finding visit to the island in August 2013.

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