Written by Keshala Dias
21 Mar, 2017 | 10:14 pm
The report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka will be taken up at the UNHRC on Wednesday, March 22.
Speaking at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva on the night of March 20, former Parliamentarian Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara expressed the following views:
[quote]”The resolution 30/1 against Sri Lanka was based on OISL report of the High Commissioner with war crime charges. The Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, without the approval of the President and the Cabinet accepted the report and co sponsored resolution with the USA. I am tabling two reports in which the world renowned experts have clearly mentioned that we have never committed war crimes, and other prepared by an eminent board vetted by the former Chief Justice prove in how the High Commissioner’s report seriously flawed with contradiction, omissions and sand lines,,,. We had in our country was a non international armed conflict and the applicable laws are the International Humanitarian Laws and not the International Human Rights Law. When you have applied IHL it is very clear that it was the LTTE and not the SL approved who did commit war crimes. We request the United Nations General Assembly to assign a special rapporteur to investigate the matter, impose a moratorium on UNHRC from pursuing the resolution any further, till such investigation is completed. It is a pity that UNHRC which kept a blind eye when LTTE was using human shields and child soldiers, is now leveling war crime charges on the very troops which destroyed the LTTE and protected the human rights of all. It is a typical example of double standard and hypocrisy”.[/quote]
Meanwhile, UPFA Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena raised a question in parliament today, March 21, with regard to the activities of the UN Human Rights Council.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe responded.
MP Dinesh Gunawardena: “In 2015, the UNHRC passed a resolution which is harmful to our country. The resolution which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka also includes clauses to establish a Hybrid Court with foreign judges, foreign lawyers and investigators. The time period set through the 2015 Resolution which was agreed to by the government and foreign minister is due to conclude, the government is now preparing to co-sponsor a similar Resolution at the UNHRC today or tomorrow. Through this it shows that Sri Lanka is once again agreeing to the harmful aspects of the 2015 Resolution. So we question whether the government will go ahead with this decision?”
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe: “Read the entire thing, don’t stop halfway. There are two part of the resolution, one is the report by UN High Commissioner for human rights. The report speaks of joining the International Criminal Court and the establishment of a Hybrid Court. We have noted the High Commissioners report and thanked him, that is all we have done. It also says that we will implement the mechanism that we suggested through the 2015 Resolution which is the truth seeking Commission, after 2009 members of the former government went to New York and agreed to file charges”.
“….Thereafter, under these agreement they dragged away Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and imprisoned him.
In 2014 GL Peiris went to Geneva and said that we will move forward with the Muttur and Trincomalee cases.
Those are the only cases that have been filed. I cannot help them when they are scared. We have saidthat we will not place foreign Judges in our Courts. We will not create a Hybrid Court, the President also expressed this stance. I will state it in this Chamber today, we will not create such bodies. The constitution has given prominence to the parliament and the judiciary, we can only create such a Court through a Constitutional amendment . However, such an amendment will have to be approved through a referendum.
Are you ready to apologise to Sarath Fonseka?”
MP Dinesh Gunawardena: “I asked a simple question from the PM. How did a minister sign such an agreement in violation of the Constitution. That is why the President stated that he will not appoint foreign judges. The Prime Minister should respond to my question”.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe: “If you agree with the President, then why don’t you come and sit on this side?”
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