United Nation asks Sri Lanka to deal with allegations of war crimes

Ben Emmerson, United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism speaks during a news conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Vastavam web: Sri Lanka’s transnational justice policy to deal with allegations of war crimes during decades- long civil war has been deeply polarised and politicised, a special UN rapporteur today said as he urged the government to adopt a clear timeline to address the issue.Concluding his two-week visit to Sri Lanka for the second time after a government invitation extended, UN Rapporteur on promotion of truth, justice reparation and guarantees of non- recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, said the country should adopt a transitional justice strategy with clear timeline for implementation.
“In a highly polarised context the absence of a comprehensive plan that includes provisions for the satisfaction of the rights to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence has left transitional justice an easy target to attack.” He said that transitional justice at the end of over three-decade armed campaign by the LTTE should be of interest, and in any case is meant to protect the rights of all the people of the country.”This seems to me to misrepresent the target of transitional justice accountability measures by suggesting that it is a generally anti-security agenda, and also by forgetting that no one who has committed violations of human rights law or of the laws of war deserves to be called a hero,” he said.
Pointing out the recent case presented in Brazil against a former member of the Armed Forces, Greiff noted that accountability will be sought either here or abroad.” “In my opinion, this is an additional reason for the country, with the full support of the Armed Forces, who stand a lot to gain from this process– to establish a robust and credible comprehensive transitional justice policy,” he said.He has recommended confidence building measures such as the repeal of the prevention of terrorism Act, end the military s role in business and reduction of military presence in the former conflict areas.
Mapping of civilian lands held for military purposes, cease surveillance of human rights defenders.He has also urged for operationalising the Office of Missing Persons and ensure its regional presence to facilitate access to victims families.