The Government is of the view high profile visits to the Wanni had not yielded any tangible progress in taking forward the Peace Process and as such there are serious concerns over providing security for high level international visitors to Kilinochchi, the Foreign Ministry said.
A visiting high level EU delegation on Tuesday said it had demanded from the Government to provide access for the Co-chairs and the Norwegian facilitators to the Wanni to meet the LTTE to deliver key messages including resuming the peace process, observing humanitarian access and respecting human rights. On the contrary, it had been observed that the LTTE had cynically used high profile visits by foreign dignitaries to the Wanni, for propaganda purposes, the Foreign Ministry said in response to the demands and concerns raised by the EU.
The Foreign Ministry however said Sri Lanka appreciated the important and constructive role played by the EU as one of the Co-Chairs of the Peace Process and also underscored the useful contribution of Norway as the facilitator.
A six member delegation from the EU Troika headed by Ambassador Janez Premoze Director for Asia, Africa and Pacific in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia representing the current EU Presidency, held two days of talks with the Government and other officials this week. The talks were part of an assessment of the situation in Sri Lanka including the state of human rights.
While welcoming the criminal prosecutions against LTTE fund-raising in some EU Member States, the Sri Lankan delegation urged the EU to prevail upon Member States to enact enabling legislation and take similar action against front organizations of the LTTE, operating in their territories under the guise of charities, social welfare and cultural associations.
The Sri Lanka delegation briefed the Troika on the work of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) towards achieving a lasting political settlement to the current conflict. This is an evolving process which would lead to greater devolution of power to the provinces, the Foreign Ministry said.
Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona highlighted the abiding commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to upholding and protecting human rights in the country. Fundamental rights have been enshrined in the Constitution and made justiciable. The Supreme Court has expanded the scope of fundamental rights from the original provisions of the Constitution which demonstrate the independence and the robust nature of Sri Lanka s domestic judicial institutions in which the people have reposed immense faith, the Foreign Ministry added.
Minister Bogollagama said Sri Lanka shared the concern of the EU over the decision of the Independent International Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) to prematurely wind up their work in relation to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry. While Sri Lanka regrets this unfortunate development, the Government found it difficult to accept the reasons adduced by the IIGEP to leave before the completion of its mandate.