Lord Naseby’s statement will be used as ‘an ace’- Minister Marapana | Sunday Observer

Lord Naseby’s statement will be used as ‘an ace’- Minister Marapana

Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana told Parliament yesterday that Lord Naseby’s statement on human rights violations alleged to have taken place during the final phase of military operations against the LTTE would be used as ‘an ace’ when the time comes and at the right place.

Responding to a question raised by Joint Opposition Leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena, as to why this statement was not used especially at the Universal Period Review of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Minister Marapana said that the Government would use Lord Naseby’s statement in an appropriate forum.

The Minister said, “We are not saying that we will not use Lord Naseby’s statement. We certainly will use it at the proper time and at appropriate forums. There may be a time when the UNHRC will ask us to conduct investigations into the allegations of war crimes. We will use this statement when such a time comes. Otherwise, our opponents will find counter arguments so we must use it as an ace,” he said.

MP Gunawardena said that the Foreign Ministry has not properly made use of Lord Naseby’s statement which categorically proved that the Sri Lanka security forces did not assassinate 40,000 civilians in the Northern Province during the final phase of the war.

He further said, “Although Lord Naseby proved that reports used by the UNHRC are erroneous, the Government’s representatives like Dr Harsha de Silva had made a different statement at Geneva recently.”

Minister Marapana told the House that he did not agree with MP Gunawardena’s allegations. The Minister said Dr Harsha de Silva did not make such a statement as claimed by the MP.

“ We are mindful of Lord Naseby’s statement and we really appreciate his efforts. He has done extensive research on it. The forum in Geneva which Dr Harsha de Silva attended was not an appropriate forum to take it up.”

Minister Marapana said that the Government has invited Lord Naseby to visit Sri Lanka at any time.