Moon, Rajapaksa nexus to restrict UN panel mandate on Sri Lanka war-crimes?

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 September 2010, 02:33 GMT]
The statement made by the United Nations spokes person and the news release from Sri Lanka's President office, after the meeting between the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa in New York Friday raised doubts if there is any collusion between the two officials to interfere with the mandate by the UN appointed war-crimes advisory panel, a report filed by Inner City Press strongly suggested. While, Ban ignored mentioning the "advisory panel," and clarified that he was updated on Sri Lanka's own Reconciliation commission, Sri Lanka's statement said: "UN panel is “in no way empowered to investigate charges against Sri Lanka.”

"Three obvious questions at least arise. First, if Ban did in fact say this to Rajapaksa about the UN panel, why did Ban's read out mention only Rajapaksa own commission, and not the UN's? Can one believe in and rely on the UN's summary of Ban's meetings?

"Also, if Ban said what Rajapaksa attributes to him, isn't this totally undermining any power the panel had?

"Third, if Ban didn't say this, when is the UN going to request a retraction or correction from the Sri Lankan government?" the ICP report asked.

ICP also noted that UN's summary statement on Ban's Sri Lanka meeting took significantly longer to issue than their summary of their meeting with the President of Nigeria, Ban's meeting which took place just before the Rajapaksa-Ban meeting.

"Sri Lanka got Ban to issue an inordinately positive, some think inaccurate “joint” summary -- and then nevertheless issued their own summary, including a quote in which Ban undermines the mandate of his own panel," ICP said.

There were reported questions on conflict of interest of Ban Ki Moon related to Sri Lanka. Ban's son in law, Siddarth Chatterjee served in the Indian Peace Keeping force in Sri Lanka while serving as an Indian Army officer. ICP said it is waiting confirmation on this matter from Nesirky.

The members of the war-crimes advisory panel, Marzuki Darusman, a former Attorney General from Indonesia, Yasmin Sooka, Member of South Africa's Truth Commisssion, and Steven Ratner, Law professor at Michigan University, US, were given 4-month period by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to complete the first report. The panel was announced in March, the panel met for the first time on 20th July.

Sri Lanka's statement on the advisory panel's lack of mandate, if not repudiated by the UN, stands to erode into the effectiveness of the panel, a Tamil activist who attended the protest rally earlier in front of the UN protesting Rajapakse visit said.


Chronology:


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External Links:
ICP: As Sri Lanka Quotes UN Ban Undermining His Panel on War Crimes, UN Questioned
Island: Ban’s committee "not empowered to investigate charges against SL’’

 

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