GL welcomes examination of ‘fresh information’, urges govt to use UK dispatches now
Posted on October 23rd, 2018

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

Accountability issues

Former External Affairs Minister and Chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday urged the current dispensation to review its position as regards the accountability issue in the wake of UN admission that fresh evidence pertaining to Sri Lanka’s war against the LTTE was open for scrutiny.

Prof. Peiris pointed out that the UN had called for immediate repatriation of Sri Lankan commander of a military contingent deployed in Mali on the basis of what a UN spokesperson called recently received information.

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A UN spokesman announced last Friday (Oct. 19) that the request for Lt. Col. Kalana P.L. Amunupure’s repatriation was made ‘based on recently received information.’

Referring to a statement issued by Yasmin Sooka, executive director, International Truth and Justice Project, Prof. Peiris told The Island that if the UN system was open to examine fresh information in respect of allegations, same opportunity should be given to Sri Lanka.

Foreign media recently quoted Sooka, a member of the UN Panel of Experts (PoE) which accused Sri Lanka of killing 40,000 Tamil civilians, as having said: “We are delighted to see the dossier we submitted on Amunupure to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in June this year has now resulted in this step.”

Sooka’s outfit identified Amunupure as the Second-in-Command of the 11 CLI (Ceylon Light Infantry) attached to the 58 Division. Sooka found fault with Amunupure for his unit role in the assault on Puthukudirippu in Feb 2009 and Puthumathalan in March 2009.

Pointing out that the UN hadn’t called for repatriation of peacekeeping officers previously on the basis of fresh evidence received from any party; Prof. Peiris said that the UN resorted to the humiliating move close on the heels of President Maithripala Sirisena’s much publicized address to the UNGA.

Prof. Peiris said that if the Department of Peacekeeping Operations could examine and act on fresh evidence received from NGO activist Sooka, the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), too could inquire into genuine wartime British High Commission dispatches from Colombo which disputed the killing of 40,000 civilians.

British dispatches obtained by Lord Naseby by way of UK Right to Information Law were placed before the House of Lords in Oct last year.

Responding to another query, Prof. Peiris said that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe dispensation refrained from officially bringing British dispatches to the notice of 47-member Geneva Council. The former External Affairs Minister alleged that there was obviously consensus between the UNP and the SLFP of not using British dispatches to alter the 30/1 and 34/1 Geneva Resolutions adopted in 2015 and 2017. “Just give me one reason to justify Sirisena and Wickremesinghe not exploiting the opportunity created by Lord Naseby,” Prof. Peiris said, underscoring the fact that for over 12 months the government deliberately deprived Sri Lanka of a chance to seek reappraisal of the original Geneva Resolution.

Prof. Peiris called the National Unity Government’s refusal to represent national interests at Geneva a treacherous act that couldn’t be condoned under any circumstances.

Prof. Peiris acknowledged that more troops chosen for overseas UN deployment were awaiting clearance by the Sri Lanka Human Rights Council (SLHRC) and the process seemed to have been severely undermined by the government’s refusal to take up Naseby revelations with Geneva.

Military spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu yesterday said that the officer concerned had served under UN command before and was scheduled to complete his current assignment in several weeks. Brig. Atapattu said that the military would fully cooperate with the UN in that regard.

Prof. Peiris said in addition to British dispatches, the government should bring up everything available, including Wiki leaks revelations before Geneva.

Prof. Peiris pointed out that several senior officers such as Major General Chagie Gallage had been denied an Australian visa on the basis of unsubstantiated war crimes allegations. Another serving officer had been denied US War College on the same basis, Prof. Peiris said.

2 Responses to “GL welcomes examination of ‘fresh information’, urges govt to use UK dispatches now”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    At least someone from JO / Pohottuwa talked about Lord Nasby’s Report.

    They were sleeping all these days.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    “Prof. Peiris called the National Unity Government’s refusal to represent national interests at Geneva a treacherous act that couldn’t be condoned under any circumstances.”

    YES, INDEED! It is TREACHERY of a HIGH ORDER! The USA exits international bodies of the UN when ITS ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL are threatened by the UN. INSTEAD of doing the SAME, Sri Lanka ENTHUSIASTICALLY offers to CRUCIFY its own Heroes! SHAME on the Yamapalana Govt of Sri Lanka! SHAME!

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