Lanka rejects UN call for foreign judges in war probe
Posted on March 5th, 2017

Courtesy Gulf Times

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected a fresh appeal from the United Nations to allow international judges to investigate alleged war-era atrocities, vowing to not prosecute soldiers.

“I am not going to allow non-governmental organisations to dictate how to run my government. I will not listen to their calls to prosecute my troops,” the president said in remarks distributed by his office yesterday.

The UN on Friday criticised Sri Lanka’s “worryingly slow” progress in addressing its wartime past, urging the government to adopt laws allowing for special hybrid courts to try war criminals.

In his first remarks since the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva handed down a new scorecard on Sri Lanka, Sirisena rebuffed calls for international judges to probe abuses committed during the island’s 37-year civil war.

Sri Lanka has resisted calls to establish a special court to investigate allegations that government forces killed up to 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final months of fighting, which ended in May 2009.

Sirisena, a member of the majority Sinhalese community, received the support of the Tamil minority after promising accountability for excesses carried out by the largely Sinhalese military.

He had agreed to a UN Human Rights Council resolution in October 2015 which called for special tribunals and reparations for victims and gave Sri Lanka 18 months to establish credible investigations.

But the deadline lapsed without those commitments being met.

The UN said coalition politics in the unity government Sirisena formed after ousting former strongman leader Mahinda Rajapakse were likely to blame for the slow pace of progress.

Last week the main Tamil political party accused Sirisena of failing to deliver on his promises, and urged the UN to hold his administration to account.
Sirisena’s response marks a sharp shift in his policy towards accountability and reconciliation, which had earned him the praise of international
observers.

“A charge-sheet is now brought against our forces with a demand to include foreign judges to try them,” he said in a speech to troops in the northern peninsula of Jaffna, the Tamil heartland.

The defiant tone contrasted with his Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who asked the Human Rights Council for more time, promising that his country remained committed to seeking justice.

At least 100,000 people were killed during the separatist war between government forces and rebels from the Tamil Tigers group, with atrocities recorded by both sides.

In its report, the UN said abuses including torture remain widespread in the ethnically divided island nation of 21mn, with “a prevailing culture of impunity” partly to blame.

The UN acknowledged that Colombo had made some positive advances on constitutional and legal reforms, limited land restitution and symbolic gestures
towards reconciliation.

But it cautioned that the measures taken so far had been “inadequate, lacked co-ordination
and a sense of urgency.”

2 Responses to “Lanka rejects UN call for foreign judges in war probe”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected a fresh appeal from the United Nations to allow international judges to investigate alleged war-era atrocities, vowing to not prosecute soldiers.

    I am not going to allow non-governmental organisations to dictate how to run my government. I will not listen to their calls to prosecute my troops,” the president said in remarks distributed by his office yesterday.”

    WELL SAID president Sirisena!

    We need people like this to lead the country NOT presidents who get foreign LAWYERS and foreign JUDGES investigate our soldiers.

    (For those who don’t KNOW DESMOND DE SILVA is NOT a SL and NIGEL is NOT a SL.)

    “He had agreed to a UN Human Rights Council resolution in October 2015 which called for special tribunals and reparations for victims and gave Sri Lanka 18 months to establish credible investigations.

    But the deadline lapsed without those commitments being met.”

    Even better.

    President Sirisena, you can DO BETTER than this but we THANK YOU for this BOLD unprecedented stand from a SL president.

    Never forget you were the ACTING DEFENCE MINISTER when the LTTE surrendered. MR and SF were in JORDAN and CHINA. So don’t dig your own grave!

    MR left a country torn by war but when he landed he KISSED the PEACEFUL land.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Katussa (Lorenzo),

    What, now you are back again ASS-KISSUING the man you call “Maru Sira”?

    He just said he won’t allow foreign judges, but he will allow Sri Lankan judges under UNP leadership to witch-hunt those who saved us.

    Even now, LTTE weapons are being transferred to riminal gangs in Sri zlanka by the EELAMISTS to destabilize the country and terrorise the population.

    Violent crimes are on the upswing everywhere in Sri Lanka!

    Last week, the so-called REHABILITATED LTTEers formed a new party ” REHABILITATED Tigers of Tamil EELAM” to create the organization they need to immediate switch to warfare at the opportune moment!

    Who PROFITS from this disintegration of law and order in the country, and the weakening of the national government?

    You GUESSED IT, the beneficiaties are your MASTERS among the EELAMISTS!

    Still ROOTING for the Maru Sira presiding over these DEBACLES?

    I BET YOU ARE!

    …………………

    BTW, How is the PhD in Kovil Management coming along? Thesis on how to optimally bathe the Siva-Lingam at lowest cost still on schedule?

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