Mar 03, 2017

Foreign judges possible – Mangala (video) Featured

Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera has said in Geneva that there was a possible foreign judges’ participation in the judicial process into accusations of war crimes and serious human rights violations, according to radiogagana.com.

At a meeting he had with Canada MP Gary Anandasangaree, Tamil diaspora leaders, journalists and human rights activists, Samaraweera was repeatedly asked about the government stand with regard to the composition of the judges in such a process.

The minister replied the government’s intention was to establish an accountability mechanism with or without foreign judges.

PIC 01 1A high level panel of legal experts has been appointed to study all possible alternatives to choose the best interim justice mechanism, he said.

At a meeting in Geneva in May too, Samaraweera spoke about the possibility of the inclusion of foreign judges in a process to ensure justice for the war-affected, as per the agreement reached in 2015 by Sri Lanka and the UNHRC.

However, the Canadian MP seemed not satisfied by his reply, and stressed the government’s remarks indicated that it was going back on its promise.

Lankan law not strong enough

Anandasangaree said he had visited Sri Lanka and observed the court hearing process and noted the law was not strong enough to take up international level crimes.

The foreign minister then told the meeting that the government was studying various alternatives to strengthen the law.

He alleged that extremists in both sides of the divide were posing a challenge against going forward, stressing the government needed more time to fully implement the proposal.

Samaraweera said he was branded a traitor by Sinhala extremists and Tamil moderates were being called traitors by Tamil extremists, and in the end, all were traitors.

After the meeting, the minister had a chat with GTF leader Fr. S.J. Emmanuel, when TGTC representative Manivannan Padmanabhan came to him and accused him of uttering falsehood to the international community.

Samaraweera has declared over social media that he had met with UNHRC chief Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein and discussed progress achieved by Sri Lanka in the human rights sphere.

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