In the past 50 years, in Sri Lanka the services of international judges have been employed on many occasions.
If that is possible for Sinhalese why not for Tamils now?
It is not new or against Sri Lanka’s judicial system otherwise how can the Sinhala government employed in June 1963, April 1993, May 1993 and November 2006?
Involvement of foreign jurists and investigators in a judicial mechanism, suggested initially in a report by the UN on alleged violations of human rights in Sri Lanka and later in a draft resolution co-sponsored by the U.S., is nothing new for the South Asian country.
Considering those developments in the Sri Lanka Judiciary, the present government has a huge task to ensure faith in the judicial system of this country.
“In the bygone era when a similar situation surfaced in the Judiciary with people losing faith, then Premier Ms. Sirima Bandaranaike appointed a Commission comprising foreign judges to hear the S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike assassination case under the Commissions of Inquiry Act of 1963. The members of that Commission were; Abdel Younis (Egypt), G.C. Mills-Odich (Ghana) and T.S .Fernando (Ceylon).”
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said foreign judges will not be involved in a probe on violations of international humanitarian law committed during the armed conflict as Sri Lanka’s constitution would not allow it.
Mr Wickremesinghe told reporters that Sri Lanka’s judiciary would have to approve any involvement of foreign judges, as has been stated in a resolution presented to the UN Human Rights Council. Foreign judges can be consulted but not actually involved in proceedings, said the prime minister.
Prime Minister Ranil says he and his president Maitheri have formed a good governance government now! Why he is trying to show his cunning fox behaviour and twisting and lying to UNHRC, UK and US.
Whatever the Sinhalese say at the end their narrow-minded chauvinistic behaviour will be projected in their moves! Which not new to Tamils!! Tamils should not believe them and go behind them for a peaceful solution!!!
Four decades before he pass away S. J. V. Selvanayayagam has told the Tamils that “God only will save the Tamils” even after that going behind Sinhalese is nothing but foolishness! Kindly and jointly please take our case to international court of law for judgment.
TNA elected representatives of Tamils supporting and taken portfolio under president Maitheri is now begging behind a war criminal for justice. How this begging can be possible? Tamils have to think wisely! TNA doesn’t have valid document to go to ICC only TGTE has valid document.
Sri Lankan President Maitheripala Sirisena admitted to the fact that he was the acting defense minister during the final weeks of the war, when large number of Tamils was killed, including those surrendered.
It was during his time that Sri Lanka rejected appeals by world leaders, including from President Obama, to stop shelling and bombing an area called “No Fire Zone”, which was created by the Sri Lankan Government, where thousands of Tamil civilians assembled for safety.
This is what Sri Lankan President Sirisena said in the interview to Daily Mirror:
“I was the Minister in Charge of Defense during the last two weeks of the war in which most of the leaders of the LTTE were killed with General Fonseka at the helm of the Army. Prior to that I have acted as the Minister of Defence five times during the height of the war.” Maithripala Sirisena’s Interview to Daily Mirror” (Published: January 2, 2015).
- Around 70,000 Tamils were killed in six months and women were sexually assaulted and raped by Sri Lankan Security Forces in 2009. (UN Internal Review Report).
- Several were killed due to deliberate and intense shelling and bombing of areas designated by the government as “no-fire zones”, where Tamil civilians had assembled for safety.
- Sri Lankan Government also restricted food and medicine for Tamils, resulting in large numbers dying from starvation and many of the injured bleeding to death
After the report was published by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, released a report about these killings and recommended a hybrid judicial mechanism for accountability. UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is following up on his report.
President Sirisena said: “We managed to stop UN publishing names of perpetrators”.
If that report is fully published president serisena’s name would have also published as war criminal.
Foreign Judges Role in probes is not new to Sri Lanka!
In the last 50 years, the services of international judges and investigators were utilised on many occasions.
“In June 1963, a three-member Commission of Inquiry was set up to go into the assassination of former Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in September 1959. It included judges from Egypt and Ghana. The panel’s report was published two years later, holding that no organised body was “directly or indirectly” linked to the plot.”
“In April 1993, when Lalith Athulathmudali, leader of a breakaway group of the United National Party (UNP), was shot dead in Colombo, the Scotland Yard was allowed to assist the local police for investigation. In August 1993, the British agency cleared the government and the ruling UNP of any involvement.”
“In May 1993, the government set up a commission of inquiry, comprising three judges from Ghana, New Zealand and Nigeria, to probe the death of Northern Commander Lt Gen. Denzil Kobbekaduwa.”
“In November 2006, the Mahinda Rajapaksa government established a commission of inquiry with Supreme Court judge Nissanka Kumara Udalagama to go into allegations of human rights violations since August 1, 2005. Three months later, it also formed an 11-member International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) with P. N. Bhagwati as the chief to observe the work of the Udalagama commission. But the IIGEP terminated its work in March 2008, citing the government’s “lack of political will”.
Former Foreign Minister and professor of law, G.L. Peiris, says obtaining technical inputs from foreign experts on legal or forensic matters is different from handing over the investigation to foreign judges, which is “totally unacceptable.”
WHY UNHRC CHIEF DOESN’T TRUST OUR JUDICIARY?
In 2011, former Chief Justice Mohan Peiris travelled to the United Nations in New York as the Ministerial Legal Advisor to defeat the war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka. He was named as the Legal Advisor to the Cabinet by then President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It was Mahinda who included Mohan Peiris in the delegation to New York at that time. Mohan who went there tried to prove that allegations of threats on journalists in Sri Lanka by the government were fabricated.
Tamils Rights Action for Peace & Development,