Sri Lanka will not cooperate with UN war probe: minister

COLOMBO, April 7, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lanka on Monday rejected calls for cooperation with a UN investigation into war crimes and vowed it will not subject itself to the jurisdiction of the world’s highest rights body. Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris said Sri Lanka will not allow United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to launch an investigation mandated under a US-initiated resolution adopted last month.

“We will not submit ourselves to this process,” Peiris told the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Sri Lanka in Colombo.

“Sri Lanka will not participate in this inquiry.”

Peiris’s remarks came a week after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked Colombo to engage “constructively” and cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to implement a resolution calling for an international inquiry into atrocities by both sides.

President Mahinda Rajapakse told AFP soon after the motion that he rejected it.

However, the foreign minister’s statement Monday was the strongest refusal yet to cooperate with any UN probe.

The UN has also set aside a budget of nearly $1.5 million for the investigation and the office of the High Commissioner is expected to present a