President Maithripala Sirsisena is slated to chair an all party meeting on Thursday to seek political party leaders’ views on the setting up of a Hybrid court to carry out prosecutions on human rights violations during the war as proposed in the recent UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka.
However, according to early indications a stormy session is on the cards with some political parties, especially the UPFA affiliated parties other than the SLFP which are backing former President Mahinda Rajapaksa opposing the move.
Invitations have been already sent to all the political parties which have representatives in parliament for the meeting, according to sources at the Presidential Secretariat. The meeting will take place at 5.00 pm.
The President is to discuss with political leaders on the parameters of the legal mechanism to be set up and the extent of the involvement of foreign judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators.
Prior to the above meeting the President will meet the Parliamentarians of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party to discuss the issue.
In addition the President will also seek the views of religious leaders and intellectuals on the matter.
The government in a joint resolution which was supported by the US at the recent 30th UNHRC sessions in Geneva undertook to investigate credible allegations of laws-of-war violations by both government forces and the LTTE.
These include unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, sexual and other gender-based violence, the forced recruitment of children, the unlawful targeting of civilian and other protected objects, unlawful deprivation of liberty, and the intentional denial of humanitarian assistance.
For this purpose the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights has proposed the creation of a “hybrid special court” “integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators” with an independent Sri Lankan investigative and prosecuting body, defense office, and witness and victims’ protection program.
Meanwhile the inaugural rally organized by the United Opposition against the proposed Hybrid mechanism to investigate the alleged war crimes is currently being held in Colombo.
National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader Udaya Gammanpila, Dinesh Gunawardena, Prof. Tissa Witharana, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, DEW Gunasekara, Prof. G.L Peiris, Tissa Attanayake are attending the meeting.