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.

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