The Government has decided to stick to a local judicial process to investigate alleged human rights abuses related to the war.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told local media heads today that the Government had discussed this with the United States which had moved a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.
The resolution moved last week at the UNHRC has proposed that the Sri Lankan judicial mechanism obtains assistance from the Special Counsel’s office, of the Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers, and authorized prosecutors and investigators.
The Prime Minister said the Government will setup a Special Counsel to handle the operations of some of the investigations and foreign lawyers and judges can assist the special counsel if such assistance is required.
A new law will also be introduced to give powers to the Special Counsel and foreign judges who look to assist the investigations process will need to operate under the Sri Lankan system.
The Prime Minister said that in 2009 when the Sri Lankan issue was discussed at the UNHRC, the then Government had agreed to uphold international humanitarian laws but did not have the right mechanisms in place.
He said that the failure by the then Government to keep to its commitments led the US to move two resolutions against Sri Lanka during the following years.
The Prime Minister assured that the new Government is committed to uphold democracy and also ensure a political solution for the National issue.
He said that among the mechanisms which will be established to address some of the human rights concerns is a Truth Commission.
“In my view if President Rajapaksa had accepted the proposal from South Africa to setup a Truth Commission we would not be in this problem today,” he said.
He said that Sri Lanka will now establish a local Truth Commission which will also have a compassionate council with the participation of religious leaders.
The Prime Minister said that Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will explain Sri Lanka’s position to the UNHRC this week when Sri Lanka is discussed at the ongoing 30th session of the UNHRC in Geneva. (Colombo Gazette)