GL rejects Champika’s claim that MR brought in foreign experts


Former Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris yesterday rejected as "totally false" a claim by Minister Patali Champika Ranawake that the former president brought in foreign experts (to investigate war related matters) long before Geneva.

"The government never brought foreign judges, prosecutors or investigators," he said. "The mandate of Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, Geoffrey Nice, QC, and Prof. David Crane was to assist the Paranagama Commission with regard to international humanitarian and human rights law, customary international law and laws governing armed conflict."

Explaining that they were brought to give advice based on their undoubted professional expertise, he said that it was open to the commission at all times to accept or reject their advice.

"They were only resource persons and were by no means judges having the right to decide matters on their own responsibility," Pieris said. "It is a complete distortion to suggest any parallel between these two situations. The previous government would not have contemplated such a situation even for one moment."

He said the resolution Sri Lanka was co-sponsoring in Geneva holds that there are reasonable ground for believing that Sri Lanka’s armed forces have committed some of the most serious offences known to international law such as widespread unlawful killing, systemic sexual and gender based violence, kidnapping, abduction and disappearances, recurring patterns of torture, calculated starvation of civilian population, denial of essential medical supplies and the recruitment of children to be deployed in war.

"This is the resolution we are co-sponsoring, Pieris said. "I can’t see how this is construed as a victory for Sri Lanka."


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