The Sunday Leader

Move To Dilute “Foreign Judges” Clause In Resolution

By Easwaran Rutnam 

The government may seek support to dilute a controversial clause in a resolution which was passed in 2015, when a follow-up resolution on Sri Lanka is presented to the UN Human Rights Council during the ongoing session in Geneva.

Government sources said that discussions will be held to get the support of UN Human Rights Council members to bring down the pressure to implement the clause in Resolution 30/1 which calls for the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign judges in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism when investigating the war.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had said last week that Sri Lanka will not have foreign judges or a hybrid system in the accountability process but international human rights groups have demanded that Sri Lanka stick to its earlier promise.

Diplomatic sources said that it was unlikely the clause will be removed when the follow-up resolution on Sri Lanka is submitted later this month as this could result in a division in the Council on the Sri Lankan issue.

The follow-up resolution will give Sri Lanka two years to implement and show progress on the human rights issue.

Resolution 30/1 titled “promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” was adopted by the UNHRC with Sri Lanka’s support in 2015 but the clause on foreign judges became a sticky point.

A report on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, which was made public last week, makes a number of concrete recommendations, including calling on the government to adopt legislation establishing a hybrid court.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told participants at a briefing on Sri Lanka on the sidelines of the ongoing 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the government will not bring any amendments to the law to include foreign judges.

On Thursday President Maithripala Sirisena asserted that there will not be foreign judges in the local investigations on human rights abuses.

The President expressed this view during a meeting of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Central Committee.

He told the SLFP the UN Human Rights Council had proposed that foreign judges be invited to Sri Lanka to be involved in the judicial process to investigate human rights abuses related to the war.

The President however said that he had made it clear that foreign judges will not be invited to Sri Lanka.

8 Comments for “Move To Dilute “Foreign Judges” Clause In Resolution”

  1. Malin

    Sri Lankans will appreciate albeit President Sirisena’s firm stand on rejecting any foreign judges.

  2. Mahen

    Does the President, who himself remarked that he would have been six feet under if he lost the election, really believe that Justice would be dispensed without the participation of impartial foreign Judges? If his conscience says not, should he not be honest and endorse the right decision without playing to the gallery?

    • Burt

      Whether he has a conscience is subjective: if he did have one would you think he would have been able to be a part of the last govt in a key position with all the corruption and cold blooded murders. If he says he dint know then he is too damn stupid to lead a country.

      In the last govt all what he did was political survival for personal gain and he has continued doing that with this govt. Doing the right thing will topple the apple cart.

  3. gamarala

    Sri Lanka judiciary dare not judge the military about warcrimes during the war with LTTE.
    The C in C tolerates their undeclared “military regime” in the north and east which has taken over vast tracts of private and state land for cultivation utilising ‘slave labour’ of ex-LTTErs, livelihoods of most citizens , primary schools and businesses.

  4. david

    When the integrity of the whole system is questionable whole country will have to pay dearly. Everyone become responsible when the driver is mainly the ignorance of the electorate. Time is ripe for an effective change, but the electorate is yet to mature to understand that.

    It appears there is no way out since the whole system is chronic from top to bottom. Top is beyond limits, therefore a Bottom Top Approach is the alternative for bottom is with much lesser desires, empowerment of which will bring definite results in my opinion.

  5. raj

    This attempts proves that military and the government and opposition were partner in crimes against humanity. How can a government prosecute its military when actually the military committed because either government is ordered to do so or approved such a proposed crime?. Because of that Tamils need international war crime inquiry. Mr.Ranil might know who prepared and hand in over voter list of Tamils living in South to rioters conducted by one of the suspected minister. Any crimes against Tamils is justifiable in Sri Lank by the Singhalese politicians and parliamentarians.

    • K.Balendra

      If everything foreign is not acceptable what about foreign assistance to Kill the civilians,Foreign arms,foreign aid and the foreign governor for central bank who is accused of Bond Scam.

  6. kanal

    Singhala brothers should first realise that the Tamils belong to this country, and that their Traditional Homelands have been the northern and eastern provinces from very ancient times. They had their own Kingdoms and ruled themselves except for some pockets of periods until the advent of the Europeans. This, all the elderly educated Singhala brothers would know very well. Only some dishonest, mischievous, novice politicians are trying to say untrue stories to their whims and fancies, and after the independence, these selfish and greedy singhala politicians started to suppress the Tamils promoting their majoritarian agenda in every aspect using ‘ ethnogratic’ setup that was an automatic development in the Island nation’s political history. Tamils of the north east had practically no say in formulating the national policies. Divisions widened and culminated in a most bloody civil war which could /should have been avoided very easily. Though the war was fought in the north and east and as such the people who were put to untold suffering were Tamils, it’s saddening that there is no sympathetic treatment from the side of the government or from the side of the southern people and their leaders. After enthroning the Yahapalana government two years back with their solid votes, the Tamil leaders are still begging and running after the Mithri Ranil duo who now not only forget their promises but also dare to ridicule the Tamils who are compelled to take to the streets as a last resort to make their grievances heard. Our Premier once said of the missing persons that they might have gone to Europe on the sly: how irresponsible and ridiculous is it. So did the President say in a meeting in Jaffna recently that if it were the past government , the people staging protests on the streets would have been given white van treatment: how unsympathetic and insulting a word to his subjects who helped him with much expectations to his present position!

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