Business Times

UN report slammed by top Sri Lankan entrepreneur

The controversial report on Sri Lanka by the advisory panel appointed by the UN Secretary General (UNSG) has been slammed by a top entrepreneur saying it “clearly stands in the way of national reconciliation and inevitable economic development of the country in the aftermath of the war.”

W.K.H. Wegapitiya, Chairman - Laugfs Holdings Ltd and an immediate past president of the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) said the report is full of factual inaccuracies, contradictions, speculations, rumours, hearsay and allegations without substance and it lacks the professionalism of experts.

“It is more or less like a mediocre report produced by a bunch of junior researchers. The UNSG himself has exposed the expertise of his own panel by rejecting outright its advice and recommendation to appoint a war crime tribunal and these experts who are total outsiders of the UN System demonstrated to the whole world their absolute lack of regard to UN Charter and Conventions,” he said in a statement.
Mr Wegapitiya, also a Board Member of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCISL), noted that over the past 30 years ordinary citizens, businessmen, workers or students irrespective of ethnicity have suffered at the hands of the brutally of a ruthless terrorist outfit and it was ‘our’ heroic forces and political leadership that liberated this country from the scourge of terrorism.

“The report under the cover of advising UNSG suggests to us to pay the price for not heeding calls to stop the final assault against these terrorists,” he said, noting that countless number of deliberately targeted civilians of all communities died in the south of terrorist acts of suicide bombing, claymore mine attacks and indiscriminate shooting and no one considered those as war crimes and no calls were made for war crime tribunals.

“Instead, their usual communiqués phrased with simple and half-hearted condemnations and advice for negotiated settlement with this terrorist organization. It is appropriate to recall the plight of 600 policemen surrendered to terrorists in the East, in the late eighties and then were subsequently killed mercilessly by them and was this not a war crime? Also at the final phase of the war the so called advisory panel conveniently ignored the plight of the thousands of heroic soldiers kept as prisoners- of-war under appalling conditions. Are those not war crimes committed in blatant violation of Geneva Convention,” he asked.

However while noting that many Sri Lankans have forgotten the suffering ‘we’ all went through in the past as a country, nation as a result of LTTE brutality, Mr Wegapitiya said one should not forget that how the international community helped to resolve this issue.

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