'Investigators Cannot Come To SL Without Government's Cooperation'

Despite UN's request to work with OHCHR to initiate an international investigation mechanism, Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Professor G.L. Peiris said the country would not cooperate with a United Nations inquiry into alleged war crimes during the final phase of war.

The Foreign Minister said the government had not accepted the U.N. investigations due to concerns over its legality, fairness, and some conflict of interest issues.

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"Where the government is required to do anything to support the investigation or to participate in it, the government will not do that," Peiris told a Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) forum on Monday. "Nobody can come here without the cooperation of the Sri Lankan government."However, the government will not prevent anybody from giving evidence to any such investigation as there could be various views from different people, he said.
It is still not clear how the U.N. would conduct its probe, Peiris said.

"They will have to tell us what they want to do. But the clear policy decision had been taken that we do not associate ourself with the inquiry and we do not submit to the jurisdiction of the investigating committee," he said.

However, the opposition parties had urged the government to work with the international community, especially with the UN, to resolve existing issues with regard to alleged war crimes and human rights law violations. (With inputs from Reuters )