Thursday, September 17, 2009

'AG to UK to discuss legal options against Channel 4' says SL minister

By Roel Raymond - Sri Lanka’s Attorney General Mohan Peiris is due in UK tomorrow to explore the possibilities of taking legal action against British broadcaster Channel 4 for airing controversial video footage of alleged military killings of unarmed LTTE cadres, Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

Speaking to Daily Mirror online the Minister, who is in Geneva for the 12th UN Human Rights Council session, said that the Attorney General would meet with the lawyers representing Sri Lanka and discuss with them the best legal way in which to proceed with the broadcaster. He said that the AG would also meet with the Press Complaints Commission in the UK with regards to this issue and seek redress.

Minister Samarasinghe had also met with the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Phillip Alston’s team in Geneva - as the Special Rapporteur himself was not present at the sessions - and had conveyed a message to him saying that as quick as Alston was able to issue a statement asking Sri Lanka to investigate the allegations made by Channel 4, he should also issue a statement welcoming the investigation that was opened by the government of Sri Lanka into the incident.

The Minister had added that he expected Channel 4 to welcome the investigations into the video footage by the government , that had found it to be fake, and said that he hoped this would make the broadcaster ensure that the authenticity of footage aired on its channel would be verified in the future.

Minister Samarasinghe had also met with António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in talks that had been ‘productive’. The Minister explained that the UNHCR was already extending a helping hand to Sri Lanka with regards to the needs of the IDP’s and said that Gutteres had pledged continued support to the island in the future.

© Daily Mirror
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