The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has decided to exert pressure on the government, urging it to get it’s act together and stop dilly dallying on whether or not to permit foreign judges in a war crimes probe.
“President Maithripala Sirisena is of the view that foreign judges must not be permitted in such a robe, while the government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that foreign judges must be permitted. It is obvious the current administration cannot take a stand on this crucial issue, and hence the TNA has decided to take this matter up at the highest level,” TNA sources told Colombo Telegraph.
The TNA is of the view that this is the best time to raise this matter, specially as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al-Hussein is scheduled to present his oral submissions on Sri Lanka on June 29, 2016 at the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva.
TNA sources also noted that the government in it’s effort to try and appease the UN is implementing certain initiatives without following proper procedure and in a hurried manner, which was affecting the genuine reconciliation process. In May, the government went ahead and set up the ‘Office for Missing Persons’ in a vague manner, without carrying out proper consultation with the victims and the affected communities.
“If this trend continues, there can be a breakdown in the reconciliation process,” they warned.
During several forums including in the United States, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera underscored that international participation was necessary to bring justice to the victims of the war crimes. However, President Sirisena on the other hand, declared that he will not permit foreign judges in a war crimes probe in Sri Lanka, on grounds that he has the fullest confidence in local judges and Sri Lanka’s own judiciary process and hence there was no need for foreign judges to be part of such a process. (By Munza Mushtaq © Colombo Telegraph)