Sri Lanka’s accountability mechanism should include international judges say activists

Wednesday, 17 June 2015 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka should include a majority of international judges or prosecutors in the domestic mechanism it intends to establish to address the accountability issue, a global human rights watchdog said.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in establishing a credible and transparent justice and accountability process, the new government in Sri Lanka should ensure that any mechanism be either international, or at a minimum, include a majority of international judges and prosecutors.

The right group delivering a statement at the 29th session of the United Nations Human rights Council (UNHRC) on Monday in Geneva said the session marks a midway point in the time given to the Sri Lankan government to demonstrate its willingness to cooperate on human rights issues. 

According to the HRW the UN Special Rapporteur on Transitional Justice has noted that “it is imperative for Sri Lanka to take some immediate action to demonstrate its commitment to redressing past violations,” including: clarifying the fate of the disappeared; addressing land issues; and the immediate ending of continuing forms of harassment, violence and unjustified surveillance of civil society and victims of rights abuses.

The HRW further said that in establishing a domestic mechanism, Sri Lanka should ensure genuine consultations with those affected by the violations and take immediate steps towards resolving key outstanding issues.

The right group also emphasised that Sri Lanka should keep its promise to the UN to fully cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and allow it full access to any new or additional information it may require. (Colombopage)