- Participation of commonwealth and foreign judges in Sri Lankan judicial mechanism
- TNA welcomes new resolution
- “The Sri Lankan Government has agreed upon the ideas sponsored by America” – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
- “Resolution marks an important step toward a credible transitional justice process” – US Secretary of State John Kerry
By Siva Sivapragasam
It appears that finality and general consensus have been reached at last on a U.N. resolution levelled against allegations against Sri Lanka on violation of human rights and war crimes during the last stages of the Vanni war with a U.S. sponsored resolution which calls for the participation of ‘Commonwealth and other foreign judges’ in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism.
Both the Sri Lankan Government and the TNA have welcomed the new proposal in the new resolution.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,speaking at an event in Colombo stated that Sri Lanka has reached a compromise with the sponsors of the resolution and that “Sri Lanka can now face the future without fear”. He further remarked that the Government will co-sponsor the resolution. He also emphasized that the Government has agreed to implement a political solution to the island’s ethnic problem and bring constitutional measures to address the issue.
Meanwhile, the leader of the TNA Rajavarothayam Sambandan also stated that the TNA welcomed the new resolution. “In particular, we welcome the draft resolution’s call on Sri Lanka to involve foreign and Commonwealth judges, lawyers, investigators and defenders in a judicial mechanism to be set up in Sri Lanka that would be mandated to try international crimes,” the TNA said.
The US-sponsored was tabled at the UNHRC following negotiations between the Sri Lankan delegation and the ‘Core Group’ of sponsors of the resolution.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), marks an important step toward a credible transitional justice process, owned by Sri Lankans and with the support and involvement of the international community.
The resolution while welcoming the government’s recognition on accountability process to uphold the rule of law, appreciates the proposal made by the GoSL to establish a judicial mechanism with a Special Counsel to probe into allegations human rights and international humanitarian law violations.
The text also supports the government’s four-tiered accountability mechanism unveiled by Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera during his address at the opening event of the 30th UNHRC session.
The resolution has also recognized the need for accountability and reconciliation process for the violations and abuses committed by the LTTE as highlighted in the recently released OISL (OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka) report.
The resolution which was tabled in Geneva on Thursday backs a domestic process with foreign assistance to investigate and prosecute those accused of human rights abuses during the war between Tamil Tiger rebels and the military.