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Jan 05, 2017

Govt. again rules out foreign judges Featured

Not a single foreign judge will be sitting in the judicial process to investigate war crime and other human rights violation accusations, says minister Rajitha Senaratne.

Any organization or institution can make various suggestions, but the government’s stand remains the same, he said.

Senaratne was responding to a recommendation by the Consultations Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms that at least one international judge should be included in the process.

They are not intellectuals

When asked as to why the government would not accept recommendations by various committees on which the government spent considerable expenses, he said they could not be considered ‘intellectuals’ just because they were sitting in a committee.

Suggestions even by government-appointed committees were subjected to cabinet approval, he noted.

He said recommendations by the task force would be taken into consideration, and noted even the UNCHR high commissioner has agreed to a judicial process involving local judges only.

He insisted that only local judges would be sitting, while foreign representatives could provide technical knowledge and legal advice.

Victims have no faith in local mechanism

Responding to Senaratne’s stance, secretary of the task force Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu said the victims did not believe a local mechanism would ensure justice for them.

Therefore, civil society has a responsibility to demand that the government implemented the recommendations.

Saravanamuttu questioned Senaratne’s claim that the UNCHR high commissioner has agreed with the government stance that foreign judges would not be needed, BBC Sandeshaya reports.

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