Government to brief diplomats in Geneva

The government is to brief diplomats in Geneva to counter the allegations raised in the Channel 4 video, an external Affairs Ministry spokesman said.External Affairs Ministry spokesman Rodney Perera said that officials from the Sri Lankan Embassy in Geneva and External Affairs Ministry will attempt to give the true picture of the ground situation in Sri Lanka. Perera said that the video, which was screened at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)  premises in Geneva last week, was misleading and gave the wrong picture to the international community. The UNHRC had last week refused to stop the screening of the Channel 4 film “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” organized by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The President of the UN Human Rights Council Ambassador Remigiusz A. Henczel had observed that allowing the screening of the video in the premises while the UNHRC is meeting in another room will not reflect an official position of the Council.He had said this in response to a protest lodged by the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha. Ambassador Aryasinha had obsereved that Sri Lanka views the film, as well as the timing of its broadcast as part of a cynical, concerted and orchestrated campaign that is strategically driven, and clearly motivated by collateral political considerations.The film alleges that war crimes were committed by the military in Sri Lanka during the final stages of the conflict against the Tamil Tiger rebels, an allegation the government has strongly denied. (Colombo Gazette) read more