The opposition today questioned the contradictory comments being made by the Government on the war crimes investigation. Joint opposition member and Mahajana Eksath Peramuna leader Dinesh Gunawardena said that while the Foreign Ministry had told the UN international judges will be allowed to assist the probe on the war in Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena had said the opposite in an interview with the BBC.
Gunawardena told Parliament today that the contradictory statements by the Government has resulted in the Government being criticized by human rights groups like the New York based Human Rights Watch.
President Maithripala Sirisena had told the BBC that foreign judges will not be involved in the domestic process to investigate the war while earlier Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had told the UN Human Rights Council that foreign assistance will be obtained.
United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) opposition Parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the Foreign Ministry and the President seem to be operating two Governments.
He says even Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe does not seem to agree with the decisions taken by the Foreign Ministry.
Nanayakkara says the Foreign Ministry will now need to approach the UN Human Rights Council and withdraw the agreement reached with the Council on the domestic process to investigate incidents related to the war, since it does not seem to have the backing of the President. (Colombo Gazette)
Harper, who was involved in talks with the Sri Lankan Government when the resolution on Sri Lanka was drafted before it was submitted and eventually adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last October, said that the accountability process can be credible only if foreign judges are involved.
“For #SriLanka – credibility of any accountability mechanism requires involvement of foreign judges etc. That has and will not change,” he tweeted.
When presenting the resolution on Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council last October Harper had said that the resolution seeks to support Sri Lanka’s path to lasting peace, built on a foundation of justice and accountability.
The Prime Minister told Channel 4 television, Sri Lanka will stand by its commitments in Geneva on the UN resolution.
“He has not ruled it out,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said when asked if President Maithripala Sirisena has ruled out foreign involvement in the process.
He noted that whatever the Government does, the public must stand to benefit and that will be the focus of the entire reconciliation process.
The Prime Minister also asserted that by May this year, any doubts on the commitment of the Government to address the issues related to the war will be laid to rest.
Wickremesinghe also said that there are doubts on the 40,000 figure estimated by some as the number of those killed during the final stages of the war.
“We are interested in finding out the actual number,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said that several people still reported missing after the war and who have not returned home are most probably dead.
He said that investigations will be conducted to find out how they died and what happened to them.(Colombo Gazette)
18 hours ago – investigation … Harper, who was involved in talks with the Sri Lankan Government when the … accountability process can be credible only if foreign judgesare involved. … That has and will not change,” he tweeted. … Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that Sri Lanka will set up a domestic mechan.
19 hours ago – by P K Balachandran The involvement of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators is … That has not changed and will not change. … is no room for foreigners’ involvement in the proposed judicial mechanism to investigate and … the required experts and that outsiders should not get involved in Lanka’s domestic affairs.
3 hours ago – “We will state our position that to the two main parties and the Sinhala …Foreign judges ‘not ruled out’ says Ranil … or credible investigation into the multiple human rights abuses, and allegations of war … most rejection of international involvement in the accountability process for war crimes, Rani Wickremesinghel said,.