Tamils’ view of Sri Lanka ‘distorted’

2012-11-16 00:00

SRI Lankan High Commissioner to South Africa Shehan Ratnavale says local Tamils in SA have a distorted impression of his country and the newly appointed deputy ambassador to South Africa, Major General Shavendra Silva.

The high commissioner sent a response this week to an article that appeared in The Witness on the South African Tamil Federation, protesting atrocities against fellow Tamils in Sri Lanka and Silva’s role in the conflict as a military man.

Ratnavale said the distorted view of his country and Silva were based on an advisory report commissioned by the UN Secretary General. He said the report was mandated by an intergovernmental process and therefore, could not be deemed as a UN report.

“The said report was widely acknowledged as being ‘tendentious’, as its conclusions were largely based on unconfirmed material attributed to dubious sources and the panelists conducted the entire compilation of their report outside Sri Lanka.”

He added that the panelists declined to take part in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation commission.

Ratnavale said in Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review, the majority of countries spoke in support of the country’s human rights developments.

“After the defeat of terrorism, Sri Lanka today is a peaceful forward-looking country achieving economic growth rates of 7,8%.”

The high commission said that Major General Silva was an experienced diplomatic officer serving on the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York. “I am confident that he will make a valuable contribution to this mission,” he said.

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