OHCHR report on Sri Lanka – Investigations coming under domestic courts are a victory for Sri Lanka An independent judiciary is everyone’s expectation
Posted on September 28th, 2015

Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, Executive Director – CaFFE

Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHR) are extremely encouraged by the resolution on Sri Lanka presented to UNHRC, which allows a for more domesticated mechanism to investigate alleged human rights violations during the war through sections 06.

By allowing a mechanism led by the Sri Lankan judiciary to carry out the necessary activities, the ability of extremist elements to use this resolution for their political agenda was severely limited.

An ‘independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for integrity and impartiality’ has been an aspiration of all Sri Lankans who yearn for the rule of law in Sri Lanka for many years. The establishment of the rule of law in the country is a principal agreed by all politicians in this country and many admit that there were many attempts to influence the judicial system, investigation and criminal investigation in recent times. Officials and politicians who now appear before the FCID also allege that they are targets of politically motivated attacks.

We have continuously reiterated the importance of a domestic mechanism instead of a process comprising mostly of foreign judges, lawyers and prosecutors, which would lead to suspicion and mistrust among the Sinhala community. This has been our stance since 2009 and that is why we covered all the sessions of the LLRC and supported the process throughout. On the other hand we are heartened to see political forces like the TNA and SLMC have also come to endorse this stance.

An independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for integrity and impartiality is also vital in curbing the sexual harassment of children, corruption and financial crimes which has been plaguing Sri Lanka for years. If an independent judiciary carries out prosecutions against those responsible for sexual harassment of children, corruption and financial crimes in a transparent manner, the peoples trust in the judiciary will increase and the crime wave will diminish rapidly.

International community agreeing to a domestic investigation led by the Sri Lankan judiciary is a victory for Sri Lanka. This investigation will only become a real victory for the country only if it leads to a proper investigation, which will lead to a true reconciliation among all ethnicities. Considering the national importance of this endeavour, the government must assure the participation of all political parties, civil society organizations and all citizens in this process.


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