UNESCO has no mandate to comment on internal matters: Sri Lanka

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Colombo, Dec 23: Sri Lanka has categorically stated that UNESCO should not express its views on the subjects where it niether has the competence nor the mandate.In a letter to Director General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, the government said the conflict in Sri Lanka was a complex political issue on which UNESCO should refrain from making comments.

Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Paris, Chitranganee Wagiswara, said though UNESCO had made a contribution in inter-sectoral activities in the various domains of the UN aimed at countering terrorism, this did not give a ''carte blanche'' to the Director General to comment on specific situations of the member states.

The drawing of parity between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE in the context of a domestic peace process would not fall within UNESCO's contribution to the Counter Terrorism Implementational Task Force.

The letter was written in response to Mr Matsuura's statement in which he had condemned the Sri Lanka Government for bombing and destroying the clandestine Voice of Tigers Radio station of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and killing the journalists and civilians.

UNI

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