Sri Lanka seeks allies' support ahead of U.N. rights meet
Reuters, 28 August 2011 - Sri Lanka's foreign minister left on Sunday on a two-week mission to shore up diplomatic support ahead of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting, where the Indian Ocean nation is expecting to face a fight over Western-led pressure for a war crimes probe.
External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris is scheduled to meet leaders from Singapore, Jordan, the Non-Aligned Movement and crucially, South Korea, the home country of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, a ministry statement said.
The minister's visit comes ahead of crucial U.N. Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva this month, where Sri Lanka is expected to challenge Western nations that want the Indian Ocean nation to submit to an independent war crimes probe.
A report given to Ban by an advisory panel found there was "credible evidence" that Sri Lankan forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) committed war crimes and killed thousands of civilians in the war's last months in 2009.
Peiris, after the bilateral meetings and a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement's foreign ministers, is due in Geneva, along with three other ministers and Sri Lanka's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, who is Tamil.