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China backs Lanka's opposition to UN rights panel

Source: PTI
July 01, 2010 19:17 IST
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China has backed Sri Lanka in its opposition to the setting up of a human rights panel by the United Nations to look into alleged rights abuses during the ethnic war, saying the government was capable of handling it.

China said on Thursday that Sri Lanka and its people were capable of handling the issue and asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and world community to help Colombo stabilise its internal situation.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Colombo has appointed a 'Reconciliation Commission' of its own to probe the charges of human rights abuses during the last stages of the conflict against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka.

"China believes that the Sri Lankan government and its people are capable of handling various issues. We hope the international community including UN Secretary General can create a favourable external environment for the Sri Lankan government to stabilise its internal situation and accelerate economic development," he said.

Sri Lanka has said the panel headed by Indonesia's former Attorney General Marzuki Darusman was "uncalled for and unnecessary" and warned that it will take "appropriate action".

China in recent years has emerged as a strategic ally and a leading donor of Sri Lanka and backed the country's military campaign against the LTTE, a move interpreted by strategic analysts as an attempt aimed at countering India's influence in the region.

Since 2006, the Chinese government has provided Sri Lanka with $3.06 billion financial assistance.

China's financial clout has ensured its links with some of the most strategically located assets of Sri Lanka, including the Hambantota deep seaport in the southern part of the country.

On the political crisis in Nepal following the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Qin said China hopes that all political forces in the country to work out a consensus through dialogue and jointly proceed with the peace process to achieve stability and development. He also praised outgoing Prime Minister Nepal for his great contribution to establish China-Nepal friendship.
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