Right of reply | Sunday Observer

Right of reply

2 May, 2021

In reference to the interview of Ms.Tamara Kunanayakam by Manjula Fernando under the headline ‘The good news is that the US failed to achieve consensus on Sri Lanka’, which appeared in the Sunday Observer of April 25, 2021, regrettably one answer has been distorted due to an inadvertent error. The particular question and the answer have been reproduced below to honour her right of reply.

Q: Do you think the funding for the proposed mechanism to gather evidence on Sri Lanka, to be used in the future - US$ 2.8 million-, can be justified ?

A: The issue is not whether or not the budget is justified, but whether it is legitimate. The size of the budget is irrelevant.

The Security Council alone has the authority to decide on universal jurisdiction by ICC or ad hoc tribunals and on sanctions, which can in no way be used as a preventive measure in instances of violation of international law, norms or standards. Member States have also rejected attempts to expand the scope of universal jurisdiction to include human rights.

The decision to establish a ‘mechanism’ with prosecutorial functions within OHCHR to support criminal investigations is a blatant violation of international law and the Charter. Even the General Assembly cannot create a mechanism that has more powers than itself, and HRC is only a subsidiary.

Besides, international cooperation is essential for the promotion of human rights and consent, an unquestionable rule in international law - a State is bound only by those international legal obligations to which it consents.