The Asian Age
‘Gutsy’ Sirisena spurns UN probe call
Lanka dismisses demand for foreign judges to probe war crimes during Tamil conflict
Colombo, March 3: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said he had the guts to dismiss a UN demand seeking foreign judges to probe the alleged war crimes committed during the conflict with the LTTE.
“I have shown the strength of my backbone,” Mr Sirisena said at the a meeting of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party in Colombo on Thursday, reportedly as a response to criticism by his own party.
“Two weeks ago, the UN Human Rights chief had said Sri Lanka must have international judges in the accountability mechanism. The following day, I had the guts to dismiss it,” he said.
Mr Sirisena’s unity government
UN said must have international judges in accountability mechanism... I had the guts to dismiss it Maithripala
Sirisena, Sri Lanka Prez
with the SLFP’s arch rival United National Party led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has rejected the UN Human Rights Council’s call for a hybrid mechanism with local and foreign judges to probe the allegations of war crimes during the last phase of the war with the LTTE.
The Tamil minority, however, insists on foreign judges, claiming that the local judicial system remains far from trustworthy to deliver justice to the large numbers of Tamil victims of the conflict. Mr Sirisena’s comments came as Sri Lanka braced to ask for more time at the ongoing UNHRC session in Geneva to implement the 2015 resolution which stressed on the international hybrid mechanism.
Meanwhile, Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians on Friday signed a petition urging to not give time to the government on the resolution implementation.