The Government has set a time frame during which it will complete establishing a mechanism to address human rights allegations.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that a consultation process will begin from the second week of October and it will be completed by the end of January.
He said that from January the Government will begin implementing the ideas and proposals discussed during the consultation process and hope to complete that process in 18 months.
Samaraweera said that the consensus resolution on Sri Lanka will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council during the ongoing 30th session on September 24 or 25 and Sri Lanka will be discussed at the Council on September 30.
He said that he expects wide support in the Council for the resolution and following that the Government will begin the domestic process to address the human rights concerns.
“We have informed the Human Rights Council that we want to put all this in place within maximum 18 months,” the Minister said at a press conference in Colombo today.
The Minister also said that the report released on Sri Lanka by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is a well crafted “sober report” as opposed to what some expected.
He said that while the report is not a criminal investigation the Government will conduct a criminal investigation if there is evidence to back allegations against any individual.
The Minister also noted that investigations into some incidents were already underway and the Government expects some cases, including that into the assassination of The Sunday Leader founding Editor Lasantha Wickremetunga, to be completed soon.
“There will be no cover up. We will ensure whoever is behind these ghastly killings are dealt with under the law. We would also like to find out who gave the orders. What is important is the command structure,” he said.
The Minister also said that the Government will obtain international assistance, where required, and domestic experts will decide what assistance needs to be sought from outside.
He also said that during the consultation process it will be decided if to agree on a hybrid court as proposed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to deal with some of the allegations related to the war. (Colombo Gazette)