|Government’s Response to Statement by IIGEP Member Sir Nigel Rodley|
|Wednesday, 30 April 2008|
The Government of Sri Lanka wishes to express serious concern regarding the manner in which Sir Nigel Rodley has responded to the Government’s statement regarding the clarification made by Justice Bhagwati in his capacity as the Chairman of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) wherein Justice Bhagwati had clarified certain averments in the 6th Public Statement issued by the IIGEP. In the title of its statement, the IIGEP alleged that the Government of Sri Lanka lacked political will to support a search for the truth by the Commission of Inquiry established to investigate and inquire into alleged serious violations of Human Rights.
In a letter dated 26 April 2006 sent to the President by Justice Bhagwati it has been stated that the IIGEP had never alleged that there was an absence of political will on the part of the Government of Sri Lanka, and that what was stated was a mere apprehension. Furthermore, Justice Bhagwati had appreciated that, in making such a comment, the IIGEP was acting outside its mandate. The consolidated position of the Government in relation to this clarification was made via a media release issued at a Press Conference held on 28 April 2008.
In an interview given to BBC Sandeshaya by Sir Nigel Rodley, Member of the IIGEP subsequently published in the local media, Sir Nigel, is reported to have stated with reference to the letter issued by Justice Bhagwati, that anybody should treat with “extreme skepticism any representation by the Government of Sri Lanka” as to what any Member of the IIGEP had said. He has further said that, he was not prepared to comment on anything the Government of Sri Lanka quotes as having been said by Justice Bhagwati until he saw the letter from Justice Bhagwati. Sir Nigel has also stated that he was standing by the previous statement made by the IIGEP.
It is observed that, prior to making any observation on the Government’s announcement relating to Justice Bhagwati’s letter, the option was available to Sir Nigel to contact either the Chairman of the IIGEP, Justice Bhagwati or the Government of Sri Lanka to obtain any clarification he required. Without engaging in such conduct that may be reasonably expected from any person let alone an eminent person, Sir Nigel has proceeded to cast unwarranted and improper aspersions regarding the conduct of the Government of Sri Lanka. This is a clear demonstration of the extreme prejudice entertained by Sir Nigel towards the Government of Sri Lanka. Furthermore, it is the government’s view that his conduct in this instance is not in conformity with the professional standards expected from such eminent persons.
It is evident that such prejudice has necessarily prevented Sir Nigel from objectively assessing the work undertaken and being carried out by the Commission of Inquiry. Given the foregoing, the Government is of the view that it is not the Government’s statements that should be treated with “extreme skepticism” but rather pronouncements such as that of Sir Nigel. (Ends)
(Courtesy : MINISTRY OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND HUMAN RIGHTS )
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 June 2008 )|
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