ITJP’s Yasmin Sooka writes to UN: Urges suspension of Lankan peacekeepers

The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has made a request from the United Nations’s (UN) Department of Peace Operations (DPKO) to suspend the deployment of Sri Lankan peacekeepers due to the report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) Michelle Bachelet, which allegedly raises new doubts about whether Sri Lankan troops can be properly vetted.

“The DPKO has a legal duty to ensure due diligence before deploying troops. The report of the UN HCHR confirms that the UN General Assembly is not in a position now to certify that the Sri Lankan troops have been properly vetted and screened, and therefore must urgently take steps to move the screening process back to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland,” said ITJP Executive Director Yasmin Sooka in a statement released yesterday (4).

The ITJP statement further pointed out that Bachelet has stated in her report that the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), which currently vets the troops, has been highly politicised.

Speaking to The Morning yesterday, Military Media Spokesperson Brig. Nilantha Premaratne said that they have not received any official communication regarding this matter yet.

Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella was not available for comment.

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