PM tells ‘The Hindu’ Domestic Mechanism on war crimes

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in an interview with the Hindu said that only a domestic mechanism "which would function within the four corners of our Constitution but also be acceptable to all the communities in Sri Lanka plus the international community" would be put forward to investigate the human rights allegations during the final phase of the war.

The Prime Minister added that as the government was not a signatory to the Statute of Rome, 'there was no legal basis for an international investigation within Sri Lanka".

He explained that the call for an international investigation had arisen due to a loss in confidence in the judiciary and of the law enforcement machinery,

"We would look at a strong, independent internal judicial mechanism. Independent and one that is acceptable to all ethnic groups in Sri Lanka and to the international community. This is also a way for us to build up independence of the judiciary within Sri Lanka" added the Prime Minister.

US, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal in the meantime is reported to arrive in the country today (25). The visit comes at a time when a three member UN probe team's report is being presented to the UNHRC early next month.

With a new regiment coming into power in January this year, the government managed to postpone the UNHRC international inquiry report on Sri Lankan human rights violations due in March to September of this year. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al-Hussein however, stated that it was a 'one-time deferral' and expected to see results come out in September.

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