The OHCHR report on Sri Lanka released mid-last week had dropped all names of alleged persons, due to President Maithripala Sirisena’s name being one of the 20 odd names that were held to be responsible for alleged war crimes.
The Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that over 20 odd names of persons in commanding positions including that of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and acting Defense Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s name were mentioned in the report.
Sirisena was acting Defence Minister during the last few days of the war during which many of the crimes alleged to have happened had taken place.
The removal of names from the report was a compromise reached by both sides to prevent backlash locally and to ensure that Sirisena’s name is not included, Colombo Telegraph learns.
Meanwhile President Maithripala Sirisena contradicted the UNHRC boss Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein‘s version of withholding the names of War Crime perpetrators and Human Rights abusers when he spoke to media heads and editors at the President’s house last Friday.
President Sirisena said that his government managed to prevent publishing the names of alleged war criminals in the report of the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka.”If Rasjapaksa were in power, names of perpetrators would have been made public” he said.
This is contradicting to what Hussein said when he released the report. He said on Wednesday; “We have not cited names because we were looking at broader patterns of organisation and planning which breach the threshold of … war crimes and crimes against humanity … It was apparent that organisation and planning [took place] in the commission of many of these crimes”.