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News


IIGEP reprimanded for overstepping mandate

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe have told former Indian Chief Justice P.N. Bhagwati that he, as the Chairman, and other International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) representatives have overstepped their mandate.

President Rajapaksa and Minister Samarasinghe expressed their views when they met IIGEP representatives following their decision to call it quits.

The IIGEP, announcing its decision to quit, mentioned that there was no political will on the part of the government to get to the bottom of the problem.

The President and the Minister had insisted during the meeting that the IIGEP did not have the right to make such statements and that such was not expected from them either.

Minister Samarasinghe told the IIGEP that his government was not going to sit back and tolerate this kind of reference, which was totally out of the IIGEP’s mandate. “If it was within your mandate, it would have been a different story,” Samarasinghe said.
He pointed out that Sri Lanka had justifiable reasons to suspect that the IIGEP was working to a different agenda.

However, in response, Bhagwati defended his position and the IIGEP and said that the references were not directed at the government, to which Minister Samarasinghe maintained that the IIGEP had specifically mentioned the government by name.

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