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NATO forces act beyond UN mandate, which was to protect the civilians in Libya - Keheliya Rambukwella

By Sandun A. Jayasekera

The government yesterday expressed its displeasure over NATO air-strikes on Libya and said the indiscriminate killing of people was not acceptable to any government.

Cabinet spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told a news briefing that NATO forces had acted beyond the United Nations mandate, which was to protect the civilians in Libya.

“The UN sanctions were meant only to protect civilians from the attack of pro government forces in Libya. Sri Lanka is concerned about the killing of innocent people.

Responding to a journalist on the Russian attack on Chechnya, the minister said the Russian attack was different.

“You can’t compare the NATO forces attack on Libya with Russia’s action on Chechnya as both incidents are different. In the same way no one can see similarities between Sri Lanka’s fight against terrorism and the action of an invading force,” he said.

The minister said Sri Lanka fought a civil war and it had a legitimate right to protect civilians from the most ruthless terrorist outfits in the world in whatever way it saw fit and added that Sri Lanka had not violated any UN or international law in its fight against terrorism.

This happened in Eritrea and Iraq where there was similar suffering,” the minister said.

When asked about the double dealing by the west when on the one hand Sri Lanka was being accused of human rights violations during the last phase of the war against LTTE terrorism, the air-strikes by the NATO forces has claimed thousands of innocent lives, he said.

Certain western countries are making a hue and cry on human rights violations by other countries but they were strangely silent on the human rights violations by Western countries.

The minister said Sri Lanka would never condone the infringement of the sovereignty of one country by another country whether they were our friends or powerful or weak nations. ~ Courtesy: Daily Mirror ~

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