Reply from Sri lankan government to UNHRC commissioner
Thursday, 17 September 2015 - 9:00
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs commenting on the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka, stated the Sri Lankan Government recognizes fully that the Report represents a human rights investigation and not a criminal investigation.
It further said the Government would ensure that the report’s content as well as recommendations receive due attention of the relevant authorities including the new mechanisms that are envisaged to be set up.
The Government of Sri Lanka, Takes note of the Report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the recommendations made by the High Commissioner;
The government Is pleased and encouraged by the High Commissioner’s recognition of the efforts of the new Government since the Presidential election of 8th January 2015 in dealing with issues of concern for the people of Sri Lanka relating to human rights, rule of law, governance, justice, institutional and legal reform and reconciliation.
The UN report published yesterday has identified patterns of grave violations in Sri Lanka between 2002 and 2011, strongly indicating that war crimes and crimes against humanity were most likely committed by both sides to the conflict.
The report recommends the establishment of a hybrid special court, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators, as an essential step towards justice.
The UNHRC Commissioner further reiterated several factors.
He said the commitment of the new government to conduct a domestic investigation is laudable.
However Sri Lankan Judicial system, particularly in three areas, is not ready to investigate such alleged crimes.
The country’s judicial system has no trustworthy provisions to safeguard the victims and witnesses.
The second is lack of a domestic law framework to investigate international crimes.
The third challenge pointed out by the Commissioner is the corrupt and spoilt security personnel and the judiciary due to emergency situation, conflict and impunity.
The charges leveled against Sri Lanka by the UNHRC are listed under 8 categories.
Among them are: Unlawful killings, sexual and gender based violence, enforced disappearance, torture and other forms of cruel inhuman or degrading treatment, recruitment of children and their use in hostilities, attacks on civilians and civilian objects and denial of humanitarian assistance.