Sri Lanka mulls a local truth seeking mechanism | Sunday Observer
In talks with US, China, UK and EU at UNHRC

Sri Lanka mulls a local truth seeking mechanism

18 September, 2022

The Sri Lankan delegation in Geneva will table a proposal to set up a local truth seeking mechanism, the delegation member and Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms Minister Dr. Wijeyedasa Rajapakshe told the Sunday Observer yesterday from Geneva.

When asked about the possibility of the international mechanism coming with hybrid Courts to redress war crimes in Sri Lanka, Dr. Rajapakshe said, “It is likely. That is why we are going to propose the setting up of a domestic truth-seeking mechanism with special courts that can respond to the rights violation cases involving the LTTE and the military.” “We are currently discussing the situation with countries such as the US, China, UK, and the European Union to promote the domestic mechanism,” he said.

The new resolution will be put to a vote only if Sri Lanka disagrees.

When asked how countries such as China, Russia, and Zimbabwe, could help Sri Lanka in the in the ongoing UN Human Right Council sessions, Dr. Rajapakshe said their support is crucial. “It will be vital if India, which supported us during the economic collapse by giving USD 4 billion in loans, stands by us at the UNHRC. India can relieve us of many issues,” he said.

“If a vote is held on the resolution of the powerful countries, there is a chance that we could lose because other countries would vote along with the powerful countries. There are only 47 countries to vote,” he said.

The UNHRC was not happy about the progress of the work of the Office of the Missing Persons in Sri Lanka. “We asked for three months to improve our work considering the current crisis the country. Yet, they were not convinced,” Dr. Rajapakshe said.

The UNHRC had overreached its mandate when it first referred to economic crimes in a report on Sri Lanka, according to Dr.Rajapakshe. He said that the situation in Sri Lanka is exceptionally complicated at the ongoing Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. There are numerous protests here by Tamil Diaspora groups against Sri Lanka, he added.