25 September, 2020

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Hybrid Mechanism Should Be Truly Hybrid: North & East Civil Society

“For a hybrid mechanism to be truly hybrid in character it needs substantive international involvement not just by incorporating international judges, investigators and prosecutors but also in terms of it being in part led by the UN and by being internationally legally mandated.” 22 Civil Society organizations based/working in the North and East of Sri Lanka has today said.

TCSF Convener - Bishop of Mannar, Dr. Rayappu Joseph

TCSF Convener – Bishop of Mannar, Dr. Rayappu Joseph

Issuing a statement they said; “Quite obviously the Sri Lankan Government appointing international judges to its domestic mechanism will not constitute a hybrid mechanism. The international component should be given pride of place and control over the domestic component in a hybrid mechanism for it to be deemed credible. We emphasize this because the domestic component in a hybrid mechanism for reasons spelt out in the OISL report will have to be kept to a minimum so as not to affect its overall credibility”

“We also welcome the call by the UN High Commissioner for Sri Lanka’s ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). We would urge that Sri Lanka while ratifying the Rome statute also submit a declaration voluntarily providing retroactive jurisdiction to the International Criminal Court. This would truly reflect Sri Lanka’s genuine concern for accountability and justice.” North & East civil society organizations said.

We publish below the statement in full;

JOINT STATEMENT ON THE OISL REPORT

We welcome the report of the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Inquiry on Sri Lanka (OISL) released on 16 September 2015. The report is to-date the most comprehensive fact-finding report on the atrocities that have been committed in Sri Lanka between February 2002 and November 2011, the temporal mandate of the OISL. We believe that it is essential reading for anyone interested in justice and accountability in Sri Lanka. The report should provide to be a key resource for all stakeholders involved in the civil war in Sri Lanka in a much-needed process of introspection and critical reflection.

We welcome the report’s unequivocal finding that a criminal investigation into the serious crimes committed cannot be undertaken through a domestic mechanism. This is not just because of lack of capacity owing to the systematic distortion and corruption of the security sector and judicial system in Sri Lanka by decades of emergency, conflict and impunity but also, despite the change in regime, an apparent lack of political will. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister’s address to the UN Human Rights Council on the 14th of September 2015, despite calling for a plea to trust the new government is doubtful for its bona fides given his assertion in the same speech that the accountability mechanism will help clear the good name of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

It is in this context that we take note of the OISL Report’s suggestion for a hybrid mechanism. Given that the report has suggested that the details be worked out in detail through a participatory, consultative process we would await the Government of Sri Lanka to make public its detailed proposals and refrain at this point in time from commenting on the adequacy of a hybrid mechanism for accountability in abstract. We however wish to emphasize that for a hybrid mechanism to be truly hybrid in character it needs substantive international involvement not just by incorporating international judges, investigators and prosecutors but also in terms of it being in part led by the UN and by being internationally legally mandated. Quite obviously the Sri Lankan Government appointing international judges to its domestic mechanism will not constitute a hybrid mechanism. The international component should be given pride of place and control over the domestic component in a hybrid mechanism for it to be deemed credible. We emphasize this because the domestic component in a hybrid mechanism for reasons spelt out in the OISL report will have to be kept to a minimum so as not to affect its overall credibility. It is our understanding that this would be the minimum necessary requirement of a genuine accountability process in Sri Lanka. It is important to make sure that victims are not misled and frustrated again with a half-baked attempt at accountability.

We also welcome the call by the UN High Commissioner for Sri Lanka’s ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). We would urge that Sri Lanka while ratifying the Rome statute also submit a declaration voluntarily providing retroactive jurisdiction to the International Criminal Court*. This would truly reflect Sri Lanka’s genuine concern for accountability and justice.

We welcome the detailed recommendations of the Report on all other aspects of Transitional Justice and urge the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of the Report immediately, particularly those relating to inter alia enforced disappearances, return of land and de-militarisation. We reiterate Special Rapporteur Pablo de Grieff’s recommendation that a transitional justice process be devised which includes reform of the security sector (military, police, intelligences services included), the establishment of independent truth-seeking mechanisms and the design of a comprehensive reparation scheme. Such a process needs to be, as Mr. de Grieff noted, guided by carefully designed and conducted consultations that includes by necessity victims of gross violations. It also needs to be closely monitored and supervised by the UN. None of these, we wish to emphasise are alternatives to criminal justice but rather should be complimentary to a criminal justice process and part of a broader Transitional Justice process.  We also wish to draw in particular the Government’s attention to the report’s finding that most of the repressive structures and institutional cultures that remain deeply entrenched remain in place. As the report rightly points out crimes continue to be committed to date. Unless these structures are removed, crimes, no doubt will continue to be committed.

The UN Human Rights Council, as the OISL report suggests, should remain seized of the matter. The resolution that is being considered for presentation before the current session of the UNHRC should reflect the OISL report in word and spirit. If Sri Lanka fails to establish a genuine hybrid mechanism within a specific time framework, the UNHRC, other relevant UN organs and member states should initiate necessary steps for a UN Security Council referral to the ICC.

*Article 11(2) and Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute read together would allow Sri Lanka to make such a declaration.

Signatories:

Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF)
Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD)
Home for Human Rights (HHR)
Centre for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (CPPHR), Trincomalee
Vavuniya Citizens Committee
Mannar Citizens Committee
Tamil Lawyers Forum
North East Coordinating Committee of the Relatives of the Forcibly Disappeared
Jaffna University Teachers Association
Jaffna University Science Teachers Association (JUSTA)
Jaffna University Employees Union
Vanni Christian Union
Foundation of Changers – Batticaloa
East Civil society Activist Alliance – Batticaloa
Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna
Batticaloa Social Workers Network
Paduvaankarai People’s Alliance
Vadamarachchi Christian Union, Jaffna
Mannar Economic and Social Development Organization
Hindu Development Society Karaithivu – Amparai
Tamilar Valvurimai Maiyam
Valikamam North Development Board, Jaffna.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    5

    Let start with Karunas’, KP and Dug believe they do not die in accidents. They were involved in many , from the beginning let them come with real truth.

    • 5
      9

      Top of the list for prosecution must include Adele Balasingham, the pioneer of child terrorist recruitment, suicide bombing, architect of slaughter and diseembowelment of Sinhala women and children. There is a long list of names with the UN of 400 agents of terror amongst the diaspora to be included for prosecution. If the above doesn’t happen, throw the shonky UN report in the nearest garbage bin.

      • 4
        4

        Leaders of the LTTE: Karuna, KP, Daya Master & Douglas should be brought before the Hybrid Court. Over 75,000 Innocent Tamil civilians (According to UN sources) been brutally killed during the end of the war in May 2009.

        Free World welcome the UN report of Sri Lanka.

  • 6
    3

    The Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe does not understand what is Hybrid is and is trumpeting that the Government had won at the UN. Does he at all feel in his heart of the thousands of civilians murdered by his armed forces using chemical weapons and heavy weapons on the civilians. Hundreds of female fighters surrendered to the Armed forces, were taken away in trucks, raped and burnt and the ashes buried. Mangala Samaraweera twisting the report of the UNHRC to his favour. The Tamil people will have to wait and see what the TNA and Sanbanthan are going to do about it.

  • 2
    0

    “I cant see why mankalam talk of US,EU economic sanctions…when it was not really the case.”

    Man! the things you know. LOL

  • 1
    4

    A hybrid court instituted and staffed by appointees by the UN (?) is a preposterous concept unless it is subject to the appellate jurisdiction of our supreme court.
    To have it usurp the powers of our constitutionally appointed supreme court would be tantamount to abrogation of our sovereignty.
    By stating that,the hybrid court should ‘be given control over the domestic component for it to be credible’the self proclaimed North and East civil society agitators have shown their high bias and extreme partizanship.Perhaps one cannot entirely blame them as the previous president and his ill assorted cohorts completely destroyed the independence of our judicial system. Corrective measures have now been taken by the present government to re-establish the independence of the judiciary and with the, soon to be constituted independent commissions,guarantee the necessary checks and balances necessary for good democratic governance.
    The way ahead is to inculcate credence in our home grown institutions first.The minister of Foreign Affairs has already drawn a road map for this, he must be allowed to proceed to do so. It is also hoped that the mooted new resolution
    by the USA will in substance favour a predominantly local mechanisms to deal with the humanitarian issues raised in the OISL report.
    The ultimate objectives of the exercise is to find redress for all those whose human rights have been violated; to resolve the vexed national question to the satisfaction of all parties concerned; to ensure that there is no repetition of
    civil war and the reconciliation between segments of our society.
    All these objectives have to be achieved in the context of a United nation of Sri Lankans, an independent nation and a sovereign member of the UN. To under mine the sovereignty by the subvention of its courts of law to a ‘foreign agency’ is to deny its independence and status as a fully fledged member of the United Nations.

  • 4
    1

    Dear Lakmal are you want the rapist and child molester Sarath Abrew and our other so called eminent rogue judges to be involved in the hybrid tribunal ? These people are good for dispensing law in a kangaroo court. Please do not think there you always fool the international community ? Why don’t you suggest the name of your kin Weerawansa the Modawansa. These are type of criminals who were running the country and its politics. The clean up you are suggesting will take another 20 years the least, till all the corrupt judges retire. Do you expect the victims to wait till such time ? No way.

  • 1
    1

    Sri Lanka giving justice is just a bloody joke. They do not know any difference between crime and justice. See how many murderers , rapists, criminals, drug lords, war criminals are still roaming the country and parliament at will ?

    Please stop talking about getting any form of justice from Lankan courts, commissions or judges. All are cheats. We have had enough with your local commissions and investigative bodies. Just bull ****. No more cheating is allowed.
    Rule of law and justice died a long time ago after the Britishers left the country to narrow minded brutal racist elements.
    It’s only rule of rape, murder, kidnapping, killing, torture, incest, lies and more lies and deception prevailing in the nation. The country cannot improve or survive for long at this rate.

    Even My3 & RW are just fake patriots and biased individuals. There are no LEADERS in our country. Sadly, we cannot find one even today and our country failed miserably to make an honest visionery leader.

  • 0
    3

    The Bishop is still compiling the list of the 140,000 he alleged were ‘missing’ while the latter are funding him from Canada, UK etc.

  • 1
    3

    That 140,000 list of names have blocked Bishoppe’s heart valves.
    [Edited out]

  • 1
    2

    It was the tea he was given with love, by the army boyz at Thallady camp that blocked Bishops heart. State Army is now using other methods to kill unsuspecting priests and people ?! Another priest already died of heart attack after tasting the Army Tea…Nize going..bravo..jayawewa !!

    • 0
      0

      Bravo

      “State Army is now using other methods to kill unsuspecting priests and people ?”

      How about Bulgarian umbrella? Any use?

  • 2
    2

    Will the hybrid court investigate Rayappu[Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    Oh Native..please do not give any new ideas to our valiant and intelligent army boyz ! I guess they already possess enough of it; tested and proved.

  • 1
    1

    A brilliant idea.

    Overseas Judge marries a Sri Lankan judge and produces a hybrid Judge, who will preside.

    Problem solved

  • 1
    1

    A brilliant idea.

    Overseas Judge marries a Sri Lankan judge and produces a hybrid Judge, who will preside.

    Problem solved, now raya “appu” can fart.

  • 0
    1

    MAnnar produced the largest number of suicide jackets transporting – christian priests. Mannar churches were caught hiding loots from LTTE – Bank Robberies, habouring LTTE cadres and weapons.

    Will Hybrid court investigate those ?

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