SLankan govt plans major counter-offensive against UN report

Posted By: Pti
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Sri Lanka
Colombo Apr 17: Sri Lankan government has said it will launch a diplomatic offensive against a UN report which accused its military of committing war crimes in its final decisive offensive against Tamil Tigers in 2009.

"The government would take the report seriously and send teams to India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the other Non-Aligned countries including those in Africa and Latin America to explain why Sri Lanka had no option but to use military force to liquidate the LTTE's military capabilities," Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying.

He said a white paper would be prepared outlining the justification for military action, the civilian casualties caused by the LTTE and the benefits that have accrued to the people both in the north and south from the elimination of terrorism.

It will also include the humanitarian measures taken by the government during the final offensive against the LTTE and thereafter for the displaced civilians during the final stages, especially in the Vanni and Mullaitivu districts.

The UN panel report called for setting up of an "independent international mechanism" into what it called "credible" allegations that Sri Lankan military committed war crimes in its final decisive offensive against Tamil Tigers.

The three-member panel, appointed by UN chief Ban ki-Moon submitted its report last week without making it public. But leaked excerpts were published here in media.

The report in addition to its call for an independent international mechanism, seeks an acknowledgement of government's role and responsibility for extensive civilian casualties.

The government has dismissed the report as flawed and biased.

Gotabhaya, who is also the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, lashed out at the report and warned that Sri Lanka will be forced to look for protection from Russia and China if UN failed to protect his country. He accused the UN of being a "pawn of some countries".


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