Sri Lanka says it will create court to probe war abuses
Sri Lanka’s government plans to set up a special court by next year to hear allegations of abuses during the country’s decades-long civil war, the foreign minister said Wednesday.
Mangala Samaraweera made the comments after returning from a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva at which High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressed concerns over the government’s slow progress in implementing its pledge to investigate allegations of human rights violations and war crimes.
Samaraweera said the government places a high priority on reconciliation and is putting together a truth-seeking commission. A plan for the commission will available for discussion by September and will then be presented to Parliament for approval, he said.
“By early next year, the architecture of special accountability courts will be ready for discussion,” Samaraweera said.
He said the government is creating a variety of institutions needed to foster reconciliation.
“I believe many of these things can be finished and the architecture of many of these mechanisms can be finalized by next year,” he said.
The government has finalized a bill to establish a permanent and independent Office on Missing Persons, which is seen as an essential component of the truth-seeking process, he said.
“This bill is before Parliament and hopefully will be debated next month,” he said.
Sri Lanka has faced criticism for failing to properly investigate alleged rights abuses amounting to war crimes during the final phase of the civil war.
The war ended in 2009 after government troops defeated Tamil Tiger rebels who fought to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils. Both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers have been accused of serious human rights violations.
According to U.N. estimates, up to 100,000 people were killed in the 26-year war, but many more are feared dead, including up to 40,000 civilians in the final months of the fighting.
Last year, the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a consensus resolution in which Sri Lanka agreed to an investigation with foreign participation.
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why should Sri Lanka agree to foreign judges for most Sri Lankans have faith in the present Judicial System and like all other countries will not tolerate other counties interfering with our internal affairs is it the reward we get for being the only country in the world to eradicate terrorism
Hon Mangala has become another con-man.
He said “By early next year, the architecture of special accountability courts will be ready for discussion,”
Which means the discussion about the special accountability courts will be ready next year.
And the discussion can take a couple of more years. By that time, the Sena-Singhe Govt will be up for elections and we will most likely have Namal becoming the President.
No courts will be set-up.
Hon Mangala, there’s no point in hoodwinking the international community which the Sena-Singhe Govt has embraced.
Either you are with them (slaughtering the Ranaviru) or against them ( Prez Mahinda style, we are own people and we know what to do; no foreign intervention please).
Hon Mangala, there’s one way out of this mess the Sena-Singhe Govt has got into. Negotiate with Tamil Diaspora on a way out. Offer them ‘no Special Courts; Federal State for NP/EP in the New Constitution’.
All will be winners if you can convince them and the southern constituency.