By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
Associate Spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, Soungah Choi, told The Sunday Leader over the telephone from New York, that after commencing its official sessions, the panel hopes to cooperate with the Sri Lankan authorities when looking into the country’s commitment to human rights accountability as stated in the 2009 statement issued following Ki-Moon’s visit to Sri Lanka and on alleged violations.
Choi refused to elaborate further on the areas that would be looked at by the panel including the “alleged violations,” as the panel is yet to commence official sessions.
When asked as to how the panel would go about gathering information into the areas they would be looking at given the firm stance of the Sri Lankan Government not to cooperate with the UNP panel of experts, Choi said the panel is hopeful of speaking to various people involved in those areas and would also “seek the support of the Sri Lankan authorities.”
However, she said that the panel would decide the modalities after it commences official sessions this month. “The panel would consider all the issues and pan things out accordingly,” Choi said.
The final report of the panel of experts, which is expected four months after commencing official sessions, is expected to advise the UN Secretary General on the implementation of the commitment to human rights accountability as agreed by the Sri Lankan Government in 2009.
Choi observed that the panel would make its recommendations after looking at the modalities and the applicable international standards and taking into consideration the alleged violations.
The UN says the Sri Lankan Government could also request for the final report of the panel if it wished to utilise it as a resource in its programmes.