reprimanded for overstepping mandate
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
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
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.