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Terrorism & Security

UN rights council to take up competing resolutions on Sri Lanka war crimes, aid

Sri Lanka will fight a resolution backed by Western nations calling for an inquiry into possible war crimes during the conflict against the Tamil Tigers.

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But the Sri Lankan government denies such reports and insists it is in favor of a national reconciliation campaign. On the eve of the Human Rights Commission session, a Sri Lankan government official said international monitoring was unacceptable, reports The Nation, a Sri Lankan daily.

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The international community is welcome to provide Sri Lanka with assistance, but it should be according to the wishes of the people of this country, including the people of the North, Senior Presidential Advisor and MP Basil Rakapaksa said in a message to the international community.
"If they want to be our friends, then they should be genuine friends. We do not want 'monitors,' we need partners. Be our partners in this task to help our people," Rajapaksa said.

An opinion piece in an Indian newspaper, the Deccan Herald, argues that the Human Rights Commission's disagreement on how to tackle Sri Lanka is evidence of a global power play underway in the Indian Ocean.

In essence, Sri Lanka is the theatre where Russia and China are frontally challenging the US's incremental global strategy to establish NATO presence in the Indian Ocean region. The US has succeeded in bringing the NATO up to the Persian Gulf region. The NATO is swiftly expanding its relationship with Pakistan. But it is Sri Lanka that will be the jewel in the NATO's Indian Ocean crown. Russia and China (and Iran) are determined to frustrate the US geo-strategy. The hard reality, therefore, is that geopolitics is sidetracking Sri Lanka's Tamil problem.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan government on Tuesday rejected the Tamil Tigers' offer to participate in the country's democratic process after being defeated last week, reports the BBC.

In an interview with the BBC, [Sri Lankan defense secretary] Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the LTTE rebels could not be trusted to give up "terrorism"....
He said: "I do not believe the LTTE can enter a democratic process after years of their violent activities." He added that there were "enough democratic Tamil political parties in the country" to represent the Tamil minority....
Mr Rajapaksa also said the work of government forces was not yet over as they had to recover weapons hidden by the LTTE in the northern and eastern regions.

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