UN Resolution ‘Dangerous’

Mahinda Rajapaksa 3Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa today rejected the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka as “dangerous”, warning that if agreed to, it will punish the country’s war heroes who fought against the Tamil Tigers.

“There are various interpretations given by different people. The threat on the country is real. The countries who forced us to stop the war against the LTTE are the ones who are behind this resolution,” Rajapaksa said on the UN Human Rights Council unanimously passed on October 1.

“It will be them who will run the process of appointing judges, investigators and prosecutors,” 69-year-old Rajapaksa said.

He said despite the assurances from the government that it posed no threat, the present government need to have been careful in agreeing to it.

“There are many dangerous operative paragraphs in the resolution, three of which are the most serious and unacceptable,” the two-time president said.

According to the resolution, the government has agreed to establish a judicial mechanism to try war crimes. They have also agreed to the participation of foreign judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers in that judicial mechanism, he said.

“What this means in effect is the setting up of an entirely new parallel criminal justice system in this country outside the existing system,” Rajapaksa said.

“No one with self respect should allow this. I hope the President will give due attention to this,” Rajapaksa said.

Rajapaksa said the government has co-sponsored the Geneva resolution without considering its implications and without informing parliament and appraising the people about it.

“The laws will be changed in this manner for the sole purpose of punishing our war heroes. Changing the constitution itself to punish the war heroes who brought an end to terrorism which had been stalking this land for forty years and which embroiled the country in a raging internal war for 30 years is a dastardly act,” he said.

The latest UN resolution called for a domestic mechanism to probe human rights accountability and war crimes accusations with international expertise.

The resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka came after the UN Human Rights chief Seid Raad Al Hussein submitted his report which called for a hybrid court with international judges, investigators and prosecutors.

The UNHRC since 2012 adopted three resolutions against the Rajapaksa government, the last of which in 2014 called for an international investigation.

Rajapaksa refused to cooperate with the UN system on the investigation. However his successor Maithripala Sirisena has adopted a policy of fullest cooperation which has won a lot of international goodwill for his government.

The current government maintains that through the new goodwill they have prevented Rajapaksa and his top people being tried in international court for war crimes. (Outlook)

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