Govt: Foreign judges won’t be used in War Crimes investigation -International assistance only for ensuring independent, fair trial
Posted on January 28th, 2016


Foreign judges would not be used in the independent war crimes inquiry scheduled to commence prior to the next session of the United Nations Human Rights Council sessions scheduled for June, the government said yesterday.

Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne clarifying the comments made by both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to the foreign and local media told a news conference in Colombo that some of their statements had been taken out of context.

The government, he said, was not on a witch hunt contrary to claims being made in some quarters; it was only trying to implement a UN-mandated resolution foisted on the country due to the arrogance and high handedness of the Rajapaksas.

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Senaratne noted that those who were making a hue and cry had failed to realise the repercussions the country and people would have to face, if Sri Lanka, as a member of the United Nations and a signatory to many conventions, threw UN resolutions into the dustbin.

There was no contradiction in what the President and Prime Minister were saying, Senaratne said: “International element does not mean foreign judges would be members of the Special Court to be established for the purpose. What it means is that international assistance to conduct an independent, fair and speedy trial to ascertain the truth of the accusations that have been levelled would be obtained. For example in forensic science, modern technology, time tested advice etc.”

The Minister pointed out that Sri Lanka as President Sirisena, had said, possessed judges who were not only capable but could also be impartial in the assessment of a case regardless of the issues involved.

The Opposition, needed to realise the seriousness of the issue at hand and understand that there was a limit to time buying, he added.

Senaratne said that it was not possible for the government to go to the United Nations Human Rights Council Sessions scheduled for June and make a fool of itself by claiming that there had been no zero casualties in the conflict.

3 Responses to “Govt: Foreign judges won’t be used in War Crimes investigation -International assistance only for ensuring independent, fair trial”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Try framing war heroes and see what will happen to the govt.

    Thereafter another investigation will be needed to find out what happened to all those traitors!!

    It is the duty of the president and the PM to save war heroes. IF they fail, people will not spare them.

  2. Sooriarachi Says:

    This Minister is misinforming the public by claiming the previous regime claimed there were “zero casualties”, when in reality it was their policy to have a “goal of zero casualties” during the rescue operations. In fact the previous regime admitted there had been around 7000 deaths, of civilians and combatants, during the last stages of the armed conflict, when around 300,000 hostages, mainly Tamil, were rescued from the LTTE terrorists.

    Secondly this Minister and the new government could take a lesson from David Cameron on how to be grateful to the nation’s armed forces. Recently David Cameron praised the British soldiers for fighting to protect the interests of UK and he dismissed the cases lodged against some British soldiers for alleged war crimes committed in the middle east countries they invaded. Of course this does not mean we could respect David Cameron, who speaks with a double tongue when demanding, Sri Lankan Soldiers be prosecuted for alleged war crimes during the conflict with terrorists.

  3. Sooriarachi Says:

    This minister is referring to a “UN resolution”. Are we to treat a “UNHRC resolution” as a “UN resolution”?

    Is not this similar to referring to the infamous Dharusman panel appointed by the UNSG for his personal advice, as a UN panel?

    I also think this government blundered by failing to present to the UNHRC, at their last session, the reports of the panel investigating into “Missing Persons” and also the very important reports given by Sir Desmond and other respected foreign eminent persons from USA, UK, Japan and Pakistan, who advised this panel. The current bad image of Sri Lanka could have been avoided had these reports were placed before the UNHRC member nations.

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