Amnesty targets LLRC before Geneva HRC Sessions

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Sri Lankan government yesterday accused London headquartered Amnesty International of campaigning for the LTTE in Geneva ahead of the forthcoming UN Human Rights Council sessions.

Government sources told The Island that Amnesty International would launch a report today (7) at a seminar in Geneva as part of the LTTE lobby’s overall efforts to undermine the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

Sources said that the seminar was expected to draw those pushing for an international war crimes probe at the behest of the LTTE. The highlight of the event would be the launch of ‘When will they get justice? Failures of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’, sources said.

Ministerial sources said that Amnesty International, along with the International Crisis Group (ICG) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) had spurned an invitation by the LLRC to come before it. Sources said that Amnesty International had exposed itself by turning down the LLRC’s invitation and then throwing its weight behind UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s controversial report on accountability issues in Sri Lanka. Amnesty International also associated itself with ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ produced by Channel 4 News, UK for telecast by Channel 4 in the UK and several other networks in other parts of the world, including India.

The LLRC is expected to release its report before Nov. 15, 2011.

External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris, before heading for Geneva, told the Colombo-based diplomatic community that Sri Lanka expected equal treatment as any other member state of the UN and it wouldn’t be right to take ad hoc decisions to isolate any country.

Prof. Peiris said that Sri Lanka strongly objected to ongoing efforts to take up the controversial ‘Darusman report’ at the Geneva Sessions.

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