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Last updated: 05 April, 2011 - Published 17:26 GMT
 
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Sri Lanka met Ban ki Moon panel
 
External Affairs Minister GL Peiris says a delegation from his ministry had met the members of the UN Secretary General's (UNSG) Advisory panel on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.

Protests against the UN panel
Ruling coalition partners protested against advisory panel

The meeting in New York was not announced to the media by either the UNSG or the Sri Lankan government.

"The panel members took part in a discussion along with an officer named Lynn Pascoe (United States as Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs), where Attorney General and the secretary to the ministry of External Affairs represented Sri Lanka" the Minister told BBC Sandeshaya.

Ban Ki Moon in Sri Lanka
Ban Ki Moon visited Sri Lanka after the end of the war

Attorney General Mohan Peiris, Secretary to External Affairs Ministry at the time Romesh Jayasinghe, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative at the United Nations Palitha Kohona and his deputy, Major General Shavendra de Silva meeting the panel in February was first revealed by the Sunday Times published in Colombo.

Progress

Minister Peiris said that the Sri Lanka delegation informed of the progress of the work carried out by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and other measures of reconciliation.

The delegation had discussions with General Secretary Ban Ki Moon prior to meeting the panel.

UN panel appointed by the Secretary General is chaired by Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia). Yasmin Sooka (South Africa) and Steven Ratner (United States) are the two other members of the panel.

Investment opportunities

Addressing a press conference at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London, Minister Peiris said that he is in Europe to promote the investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and to counter false propaganda against the country.

He said that it is important to look at the situation in an objective manner.

A recent delegation from European parliament who had visited the North had commented the image they had a bout post war Sri Lanka was false.

Robert Blake in Sri Lanka
Robert Blake in Eastern Sri Lanka

"the bleak picture which had been painted in the west does not correspond with reality on the ground", The minister said quoting the European delegation.

International probe

The minister also admitted that there are around three thousand suspected Tamil Tigers still in custody without being charged.

Replying to a question on the comments made by Robert O. Blake, Jr. United States Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Minister GL Peiris said the US government had not threatened to establish an accountability mechanism on alleged human rights violations.

 Our strong preference is that the Sri Lankan government establish its own transparent process that meets international standards. However, in the absence of such a mechanism, there will be mounting pressure for an international mechanism
 
Robert Blake

On the 14th of March, speaking in New York Robert Blake said that his government will be seeking accountability.

"Our strong preference is that the Sri Lankan government establish its own transparent process that meets international standards. However, in the absence of such a mechanism, there will be mounting pressure for an international mechanism" Robert Blake remarked at an Asia Society event in New York.

 
 
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