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SL-UN agree to move on

Sep 25, 2011 2:57:02 PM - www.ft.lk

President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations Head Quarters yesterday and expressed his dissatisfaction at the breach of protocol in releasing the Darusman report without Sri Lanka’s knowledge but both parties agreed to move on from the issue, statement by President’s Media head said.

Given below is the full statement of President Spokesman Bandula Jayasekera.  
President briefed the Secretary General on the progress since the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka including the massive infrastructure development in the North and the resettlement of the IDPs.  President also explained the measures taken by the Government to expedite the reconciliation process including the continuing talks with the Tamil political parties.
UN Secretary General expressed satisfaction at these developments.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa reminded the Secretary General that when the two met in 2010, the Secretary General gave an assurance that the panel was established only to provide advice to the Secretary General personally and that it had no investigative role.
The Sri Lankan side read verbatim the minutes kept during the meeting held in 2010 when they last met. The President also reminded that the assurances given were not honoured by the panel.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa also brought to the attention of the Secretary General, to the fact that so called Darusman report had been conveyed to the Commissioner of Human rights, Navi Pillay without informing the Mission in New York or the Government of Sri Lanka. President expressed his dissatisfaction at this breach of protocol, absence of due process and procedure which also undermines credibility of the UN system.
Secretary General’s team acknowledged that there had been a lapse in communication and both sides agreed to leave this behind and to move forward with the essential aspects of reconciliation.
Secretary General also raised the issue of the emergency regulations. He was advised that emergency regulations had been lifted entirely and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) was required to be maintained due to practical necessity such as the need to continue the proscription of the LTTE.
When the question of the military presence in the north was raised President Mahinda Rajapaksa said only a relatively small number of troops continue to stay in the North and they were deployed mainly for infrastructure development, particularly since there was paucity of civilian labour in the area.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa was joined by Minister of External Affairs G. L. Pieris, M.P Sajin Vass Gunewardane, and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Chief of Staff Gamini Senerath, Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona and Ambassador Jaliya Wickremasuriya.  
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was joined by Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar and Lyn Pascoe, Under –Secretary General for Political Affairs.

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