Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe believes the number of people killed during the war could be fewer than thought.
He told The Straits Times in Singapore that allowing foreign judges to join Sri Lankan judges in special courts to try war crimes, as suggested by a UN human rights report, may be trickier.
“Already, foreign judges have participated in our commissions of inquiry. In the last two commissions foreign judges actually formed the panel that advised the councils. So, the question is, do we go up to that point or do we go further and have a foreign judge sitting on the bench that will go on for some time,” he said.
He also offered a cautious assessment of relations with New Delhi, saying “ties with India are improving”.
Sri Lanka’s economy has accelerated since the end of the civil war and Wickremesinghe said he thought average growth rates of 7 per cent are achievable. At the same time, the economy is also feeling headwinds from the China slowdown and the prospects of interest rate hikes in the West, which could impact on his country’s ability to repay loans. Beyond that, the government is considering the next steps for economic reform.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is going to make a change in the Asian regional economy. All countries have to take note of TPP,” he said.
“And then, there is China and India. We are looking at our own location, and our natural resources and human skills. We are doing an Economic and Technological Cooperation Partnership with India. A Free Trade Agreement with China will follow and hopefully, also with Singapore after that.” (Colombo Gazette)