TNA Spokesman MP M A Sumanthiran, insisting on foreign judges in the judicial mechanism to inquire into the human rights violations during the last stage of war,
called on the government not to renege on its promises to the international community.Speaking to the media following an event in Jaffna on Saturday, he said the government could not escape from fully implementing the 2015 UNHRC resolution.
Reacting to the recent comments by the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Justice Minister ruling out the possibility of appointing foreign judges under the Sri Lankan laws, Sumanthiran said there is no such legal barrier for the move. He said even if such a barrier exists, the government should remove it and fulfill its international pledges.
Sumanthiran asked if there was a legal barrier in appointing foreign judges as the Foreign Minister claims now, why it was not stated when co-sponsoring the 2015 Resolution. “The Prime Minister himself brought out the several past instances where foreign judges had been allowed in the country,” he pointed out.
“During the time of the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, Dr Wijayadasa Rajapakshe presented a private member’s motion proposing an inquiry with the participation of commonwealth judges. What he says now is contradictory to his previous stance,” he remarked.
“There is an agreement Sri Lanka signed in front of 47 States committing itself to a certain course of action. Unlike the pre-election promises, the government cannot escape from these international obligations. The government can learn a lesson from the repercussions former President Mahinda Rajapaksa faced for not keeping to the UN agreement signed in 2009,” he said.
Sumanthiran further pointed out that revising Sri Lankan laws was necessary when setting up a judicial mechanism, because some offences considered ‘crimes’ under the international law are not recognized as ‘crimes’ under the Sri Lankan law. (Daily News)
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