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Solheim says denials wont help

2013 Oct 15

Former Norwegian Minister and Peace Negotiator to Sri Lanka Erik Solheim says the blatant denials of the government on the human rights issue will only increase the resolve of others on the same issue.

He was responding to a Colombo Gazette tweet quoting Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella who had said that the government had not committed human rights violations during or after the war.

Rambukwella had said that the government maintained a “zero civilian casualty” policy during the war but admitted there may have been some isolated incidents.

The Minister also questioned why there is focus on the last stages of the war and not the full 30 years of the conflict.

Solheim, who now chairs the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s admission that the UN had failed in Sri Lanka during the final stages of the war was nearly unprecedented.

He said that it is now time for all to come together to restore democracy and establish the rights of the Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)

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