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JO rejects UNHRC call for military reform

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 30 June 2016 01:00


By Chamodi Gunawardana

The Joint Opposition yesterday vehemently denied UN High Commissioner for Human RightsZeidRa’ad Al Hussein’s annual report recommendation to restructure the tri forces and security units in Sri Lanka, to prosecute alleged war crimes and investigate the alleged use of cluster bombs.

Former External Affairs Minister Prof.G.L. Peiris said Hussein’s report was not just to provide directions and was the direct result of the Government’s decision to co-sponsor the UNHRC resolution in September. 

“This report is a negative result of adopting the September 2015 resolution that Sri Lanka co-sponsored at the Human Rights Council inGeneva. It showed how the so-called National Government betrayed the country’s pride before the UNHRC,” he alleged. 

Prof.Peiris further claimed the High Commissioner had repeated the need for establishing a special ‘hybrid court’ including foreign judges to probe alleged war crimes by Sri Lankan military personnel during the last phase of the war. 

“Recent reports have created new false crimes allegations such as using cluster bombs by the Air Force in addition to continuing its prior allegations of arbitrary arrest, torture and sexual violence against women. We believe those offences were included to bring our war heroes beforeacourt,” he charged. 

“A summary of Hussein’s 38-page report shows the UNHRC still believes Sri Lankan forces engaged in war crimes, which requires an inquiry with international involvement,” Prof.Peiris said.

He also stated UN High Commissioner has showed a ‘red light’ to the Government by mentioning that it would follow the progress of forming a war crimes investigation mechanism as recommended and would lodge another report to the UNHRC atthe next assembly in September.

“Therefore the Government would automatically be helpless to fight against what Hussein has directed,” Prof.Peiris alleged.


Russia says hands off Sri Lanka; US and others want more progress


Russia yesterday told the international community to keep its hands off Sri Lanka as the Government looks to address the accountability issue on the war.

The Russian delegation at the UN Human Rights Council said that Sri Lanka should be allowed to address its domestic affairs without outside interference.

However several other countries, including the US, Britain, Norway, Ghana and Macedonia said that Sri Lanka must show more progress on its commitments.

The statements were made after the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein presented an oral update on Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) yesterday.

The United States, in its statement, said it will await the next update on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in March next year. 

In its statement, Macedonia noted that resolution 30/1 of the HRC contains 36 recommendations to the Government of Sri Lanka.

“We are fully aware that the processes of accountability and reconciliation require time, but the existing opportunity should not be prolonged indefinitely. On many occasions, the Republic of Macedonia emphasised that the resolution supports the actual Government commitments in building new Sri Lanka for the benefit and well being of all Sri Lankans. We would like to encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to accelerate credible investigations and seek justice regarding the violations of Human Rights with appropriate forms of international support and involvement in accordance with the relevant paragraphs of the resolution,” the Macedonian delegation said.

Norway acknowledged the progress that has taken place in implementing the resolution on Sri Lanka since its adoption in October last year.

The Norwegian delegation at the UNHRC said that all initiatives for reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka should continue to be based on inclusive consultations with victims, civil society and the general population. (Colombo Gazette)



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