UN delays probe into Sri Lanka

10:49, March 16, 2010      

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It appears "unlikely" that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will establish a panel of experts to look into human rights issues in Sri Lanka any time soon, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said on Monday.

"He is still considering such a panel's terms of reference and is in contact with his advisers, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on this," Nesirky told reporters. "No persons have been suggested to him as experts yet."

"It is unlikely that such a panel will be actually established very soon," he added.

Prompted primarily by a call from the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, for an independent investigation into alleged human rights violations by the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger separatists during last year's war, Ban told Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa early this month that he would establish a panel of experts to investigate outstanding issues.

"I made clear to President Rajapaksa that I intend to move forward on a Group of Experts which will advise me on setting the broad parameters and standards on the way ahead on establishing accountability concerning Sri Lanka," Ban told a group of reporters in early March.

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