Attorney-at-law J.C. Weliamuna confirmed that there would be international participation in the proposed domestic court to inquire into accountability issues in Sri Lanka, reports The Island. Respected human rights lawyer Weliamuna made his observations on the proposed domestic mechenisim with foreign participation while speaking at a press briefing at the Information department on 12th October.
A hybrid court would have been much better where the addressing of the issues was concerned, but the recently adopted Geneva resolution co-sponsored by the government of Sri Lanka had promised on less intrusive mechanism Weliamuna has said.
‘Sri Lanka needed foreign expertise to meet the challenging task of inquiring into accountability issues. Post-war Sri Lanka required international expertise though some extremists sought to cause chaos.’ he has added.
Weliamuna insisted that the country could have avoided international intervention had the army swiftly responded to allegations against it. The lawyer stressed that the army couldn’t ignore the need to address accountability issues on its own. Commenting on the role played by the Tamil Diaspora as regards the Geneva project, Weliamuna said that it wasn’t an exclusive Tamil Diaspora campaign. Many had contributed to the far reaching changes that had been brought in the wake of the January 8 revolution.
He had explained foreign expertise in investigating serious crimes with the help of latest technology.
Weliamuna insisted that the domestic law was superseded by international laws. The domestic law, he explained was a part of the international law and therefore there couldn’t be any justifiable reason to resist an international role in the proposed investigation.
Weliamuna had cited the then United Nations Human Rights Commission initiating an investigation into South Africa’s apartheid regime as an example of UN intervention. The UN intervened in South Africa and set up an investigation outside that country in spite of strong objections from the US and the UK. But, the UNHRC move received the backing of China, Russia, Germany, France and several other countries.
The government should endorse the Rome Statute whereas the new government believed otherwise, Weliamuna had stated.
Edited version form The Island.