Sri Lanka asks UN not to make public war crime report

Colombo: Sri Lankan Government on Thursday asked the United Nations not to make public its report on alleged war crimes in the country, saying it could setback its reconciliation efforts.

External Affairs Minister G L Peiris said the UN should not release the report as it could prove damaging to his country. His comments came amidst reports that the UN panel report is about to be made public.

"The publication of this report will cause irreparable damage to the reconciliation efforts of Sri Lanka. It will also damage the UN system," Peiris said.

Describing the UN report as "preposterous", Peiris told reporters, "We ask them to refrain from any steps that will make reconciliation more difficult."

The Lankan Minister claimed that the UN panel report had no legal authority and the publishing of the document would undermine the principle of sovereign equality.

Key excerpts from the panel report were carried in a mysterious leak by Lanka`s widely circulated Island newspaper earlier this week, saying reports that Sri Lankan military had committed war crimes in its final decisive offensive against Tamil Tigers in 2009, were "credible".

The panel called for an "independent" inquiry into the war crimes.

The three-member panel, appointed by UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon submitted its report last week without making it public.

Peiris denied that government had leaked the report to `The Island` newspaper.

The Sri Lankan Government had described the report as "flawed", dubbing it a Western nations led mechanism to undermine Sri Lanka`s victory over terrorism.