Govt. wary of seeking explanation from UN

UNSG likening Vanni war to genocidal violence:
They are UNSG’s personal comments – Karu


By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The government would not seek any clarification from the United Nations (UN) regarding the UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon’s comparison of civilians deaths during the Vanni war with acts of genocide in Rwanda and Serbia in 1994 and 1995, respectively, Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Karunarathna Paranawithana said yesterday.

Responding to a query by The Island during the post-Cabinet media briefing at the Government Information Department, the Deputy Minister said the GoSL would not seek clarification as UNSG’s remarks were not mentioned in his prepared speech made at the Colombo Hilton during Moon’s recent visit to Sri Lanka and therefore UNSG’s personal comments would not be accounted as that from the UN.

Paranawithana also noted that since the UN was under huge pressure regarding the previous acts of genocides and therefore UNSGs, including Moon as well as ex-UN Chief Kofi Anan usually made comments on such incidents.

The Deputy Media Minister, who had denied the UN Chief as having compared Sri Lanka’s incidents with acts of genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia, said anyone could interpret what UNSG said in different ways.

The government had no intention of taking up that issue as it was not the way to handle diplomatic relations, Paranawithana said.

Meanwhile, Army Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said that Sri Lanka’s war against LTTE terrorism couldn’t be compared under any circumstances with acts of genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia.

However, the Army had not yet made any official statement regarding the UN Chief’s comment, Brigadier Seneviratne said adding that he would consult the Army Commander and let the media know the Army’s stance.

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