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Friday, July 12, 2024

UN report: Lanka officials ‘can be arrested’ –

Senior Sri Lanka officials may be arrested and tried abroad as a result of the UN expert panel report on Sri Lanka, a legal expert said.

Wijedasa Rajapakshe, an opposition MP, said it is possible for interested parties abroad to seek a warrant to arrest visiting dignitaries as a result of the UN report.

Amnesty International said that Sri Lankan leaders can be charged while they are travelling abroad after the release of the report.

A number of senior Sri Lankan officials and ministers including Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are citizens of the United States.

Government shelling

“Yes there is such a danger (of an arrest) but ultimately the action will be decided by diplomatic processes of those countires,” Mr Rajapakse, who was briefly a minister of the Rajapaksa administration, told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya.

 Yes there is such a danger (of an arrest) but ultimately the action will be decided by diplomatic processes of those countires

Wijedasa Rajapakse, President’s Counsel

But he argues the appointment of the panel itself is illegal.

“Although it is illegal, it caries an authority as it was released by the UN Secretary General,” said Mr Rajapakse, a President’s Counsel.

He says the UN secretary general has admitted that he has no authority to take any further action against Sri Lanka after he sent a detailed letter to Ban Ki-Moon.

“There can be no investigation into Sri Lanka without Sri Lanka’s written consent as Sri Lanka is not party to the Rome Statute,” the United National Party MP said.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is a citizen of the United States

Tens of thousands of civilians died in the final phase of Sri Lanka’s civil war – most of them killed in shelling by government forces, a UN panel says.

The panel also says Tamil Tiger rebels used civilians as human shields.

It wants an independent international investigation into “credible” reports of atrocities committed on both sides.

The secretary-general, said Mr Rajapakse, needs the approval of the Security Council if he needs to take any action against Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s government has rejected the findings as ‘flawed’ and ‘biased’.
BBC Sinhala


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