Ban’s committee "not empowered to investigate charges against SL’’

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had yesterday told President Mahinda Rajapaksa in New York for the sessions of the UN General Assembly that his committee on Sri Lanka ``was in no way empowered to investigate charges against Sri Lanka, but was solely to advice him on matters relating to Sri Lanka,’’ according to a news release from the president’s office.

Ban’s office said in a ``readout’’ on yesterday’s meeting that the Secretary General’s meeting with Rajapaksa ``focused on the need to move forward expeditiously on outstanding issues covered in the joint statement of May 2009, particularly a political settlement, reconciliation and accountability.’’

``The Secretary-General underlined that the President’s strong political mandate provided a uique opportunity to deliver on his commitment to address these issues,’’ the UN spokesperson said.

``The President underlined that development and education in the north were integral to national reconciliation. He gave examples of progress made on reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in this regard.’’

There was no reference to discussions on Ban’s committee in the UN release.

Rajapaksa had also updated the SG on the work of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the UN release said.

The president’s office in Colombo focused on the work of the LLRC which was fully transparent and established on principles of accountability ``in keeping with Sri Lanka’s own method of searching for the truth regarding a prolonged conflict and identifying ways of preventing such conflicts in the future.’’

External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris, Messers Namal Rajapaksa, MP, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary External Affairs Romesh Jayasinghe, Attorney General Mohan Peiris and Ambassador Palitha Kohona were associated with the President.



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