Sri Lanka says UN human rights panel not welcome   2010-06-24 19:57:01 FeedbackPrintRSS

COLOMBO, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka hinted here Thursday that members of a UN advisory panel on the island's human rights issues may not be issued visas to enter the country.

"They are not needed," External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris told reporters.

Peiris was responding to the appointment of a three-member panel to advise UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on alleged rights abuses during the last phases of the island's civil war between the government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sri Lanka regards the appointment of the Sri Lanka - Panel of Experts as "an unwarranted and unnecessary interference with a sovereign nation," Peiris had earlier stated.

Ban said the panel was being appointed in accordance with the agreement he reached with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he toured the island last year after the troops crushed the rebels.

In a similar response to the European Union (EU) on the extension of the trade facility named GSP+, Peiris said the Sri Lankan cabinet had outright rejected conditions laid down by the EU.

Peiris said the conditions had no connections with the trade facility.

"The president (Rajapaksa) was firmly of the view that he can not bow down to a process of winning trade concessions at any cost, " Peiris said.

Peiris said Sri Lanka's export industry is resilient enough to bounce back.

"Sri Lanka currently enjoys foreign reserves at 6 billion U.S. dollars which is the highest ever. The GSP+ facility is only worth 150 million dollars," Peiris stressed. 

Editor: Deng Shasha
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