NEITHER Sri Lanka’s government, nor the United Nations seems ready to back down over an increasingly bitter dispute. This week a spokesman for Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, confirmed that a panel of three experts will be convened as planned to advise him on “accountability” for war crimes that were allegedly committed as Sri Lanka brought its civil war to a bloody end early in 2009.

斯里兰卡政府和联合国之间的分歧日益扩大,但是目前看来双方均不愿作出让步。联合国秘书长潘基文的新闻发言人本周表示,将如期成立三人专家组,对斯里兰卡内战中涉嫌犯下战争罪的责任各方展开调查,为秘书长提供参考。去年年初,斯政府军发动毁灭性打击[1],结束长期内战。

This is despite a fierce demonstration in front of the UN compound in Colombo, the capital, spearheaded by Sri Lanka’s housing minister, Wimal Weerawansa. He had called for a protest against Mr Ban’s experts. The government had earlier dismissed the panel as an interference in its internal affairs, but it also promised that such a siege would be avoided.

此前,在首都科伦坡的联合国驻地门前,斯里兰卡住房及公共设施部长维马尔•维拉万萨曾带头发起激烈的示威活动,以抗议成立专家组。现在看来,潘基文秘书长没有同这一抗议妥协。斯国政府早先指责成立该调查组是对本国内政的干涉,但另一方面也曾保证将阻止民众围困联合国驻地。

Nonetheless on July 6th police clashed with a mob, led by Mr Weerawansa, that tried to storm the UN compound. Shouting angry slogans, protesters burned an effigy of Mr Ban, called his advisers “idiots” and trapped some 200 staff, and their visitors. Those caught inside were escorted out by police eight hours later, to jeers.

尽管有此说法在先,七月六号仍有聚众闹事者在维拉万萨率领下冲击联合国驻地,并同警方发生冲突。愤怒的抗议人群高喊口号,焚烧潘基文像,大骂联合国顾问是“蠢货”, 并围困了近二百名联合国工作人员及来访客人。八小时后,被困人员在奚落声中由警方护送离开。

The protest continued for much of the past week as loudspeakers blared and a black-shirted Mr Weerawansa launched a “fast-unto-death” while lying inside a shed across the road from the compound. He vowed that he would only be prepared to relent if Mr Ban scrapped his panel. The government preserved a curious position: somewhat disassociating itself from Mr Weerawansa, but rejecting his offer of resignation and saying that it would not quell his demonstration.

在上周持续多天的抗议中,高音喇叭中喊话声不断,身着黑衫的维拉万萨躺进联合国驻地街对面的棚屋,发起抗议“誓死绝食”。维拉万萨说,调查组不解散,他誓不罢休。斯国政府的立场则耐人寻味:一方面似乎要与维拉万萨划清界限,另一方面又不准这位部长辞去公职,并声称不会干涉这场示威。

From New York Mr Ban issued a terse statement grumbling that the Sri Lankan authorities had failed in their duty to prevent disruption to the UN offices and adding that the UN Development Programme regional centre in Colombo would close (it had earlier been marked for scaling down).

潘基文秘书长在纽约发表简短声明,对斯里兰卡当局未履行职责致使联合国机构工作受阻一事表示不满,同时表示将关闭驻科伦坡的联合国开发计划署区域中心(之前拟将该机构规模缩减)。

In the end the siege was lifted and Mr Weerawansa gave up his fast (after 52 hours) once President Mahinda Rajapaksa paid a visit and offered him a glass of water. The UN has not caved in, but it remains unclear just what Mr Ban’s expert panel will actually do. His office says that it is not a war-crimes investigation but part of an internal process to advise the secretary-general. But if the three outsiders are to do that, they will need to take a view on what really happened in the closing stages of the war. Mr Weerawansa should fatten himself up now while he has the chance.

最终,总统马欣达•拉贾帕克萨亲赴示威现场向维拉万萨敬水一杯,后者随即停止绝食(历时五十二小时),围困也随之告终。联合国目前并未妥协,但是也没有明确调查组工作范畴。秘书长办公厅称该小组的任务并非对战争罪行展开调查,而只是执行联合国内部程序,为秘书长提供参考。但是,如果确由三名外国专家调查,就会触及斯里兰卡内战最后阶段战事的真相。双方也可能再度发生冲突,有鉴于此,维拉万萨先生现在得赶紧养膘,准备上演下一出绝食闹剧。

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[1]斯里兰卡政府军于09年1月2日攻占了反政府武装泰米尔伊拉姆猛虎解放组织的大本营基利诺奇。这是在长达25年的斯里兰卡内战中,政府军取得的历史性和决定性胜利。斯里兰卡总统拉贾帕克萨称,这是对猛虎组织的“毁灭性打击”。