Sri Lanka warns UN on war crimes report
Colombo - Sri Lanka warned the United Nations on Thursday against publishing a "preposterous" report on alleged war crimes during the island's ethnic war, saying it could badly harm reconciliation efforts.
Foreign Minister GL Peiris asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon not to release the study compiled by a panel of experts who looked into alleged rights abuses and crimes against humanity during fighting which ended in 2009.
The UN has said it intends to make the report public some time this week.
"The publication of this report will cause irreparable damage to the reconciliation efforts of Sri Lanka. It will damage the UN system too," Peiris told reporters in Colombo. "This UN report is preposterous."
Peiris stressed that the government had never accepted Ban's appointment of the panel and warned him about initiating a full inquiry into suspected civilian deaths during the final stages of fighting.
He declined to comment on the contents of the report, a copy of which was handed over to him nine days ago, even though parts of the 200-page document were leaked in a pro-government newspaper last weekend.
"The consequences of publishing this report are far from favourable for the UN," Peiris warned. "It will undermine the principle of sovereign equality. A report as preposterous as this will inflict grave damage to the UN system."