Speaking at the Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday, Minister Samaraweera noted that the recommendations made by the Consultation Task Force (CTF) need not be adopted in full.
“The CTF had a wide variety of consultations, and it came up with its own recommendations. And as the government that will implement it, we also have the right to select what we need and forget what we do not need,” the minister said, while adding that, as a sovereign nation, Sri Lanka can make the final decision on the hybrid court.
He noted that the participation of foreign judges would not be possible under the current Constitution, and that the government would need to make amendments to include these judges in the transitional justice processes.
The Minister did say that various members of the international and Sri Lankan communities see foreign participation as a means of guaranteeing impartiality in the process, but that there are other ways to go about making sure justice is done.
“We are saying there are many other ways we can guarantee independence and credibility, and we are looking at our options,” he said.
Responding to those who think the reconciliation is taking too long, Minister Samaraweera pointed to Argentina and South Africa as countries that have taken up to four or five years to implement similar mechanisms. “The process may take too long, and especially for those who have suffered. For those who have lost their loved ones I know every minute could seem like an eternity, so we appreciate their concerns,”Minister Samaraweera said.
“But from the point of view of the government, I would not say that we have taken that long. In fact the Bill for the Office of Missing Persons is now the law of the land,” he said.
He added that the government is working to finalise the details of the Truth Seeking Commission.(Daily News)