MR sought help of foreign judges – PM

Post-war reconciliation process


By Saman Indrajith

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had said that Sri Lanka would immensely benefit from the expertise of Moto Noguchi, a former international judge of the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia, as regards its post-war reconciliation process, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday.

Making a special statement to Parliament on his recent visit to Japan, PM Wickremesinghe said Japan had pledged its fullest support for a local mechanism for truth finding.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe had congratulated Lankan government on co-sponsoring the recent resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva, Wickremesinghe said.

"I would like to thank former President MP Mahinda Rajapaksa for having made a request to Japan in 2014 to recommend a former judge with international experiences to strengthen Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process. So, it was he who first sought the services of international judges. Following his request, the Japanese government sent former international judge Moto Nogouchi for a tour of Sri Lanka in Oct. 2014. Noguchi has extensive experience he obtained from serving at the Extraordinary Chamber in the courts of Cambodia. The Japanese Prime Minister emphasized that it is more suitable for Sri Lanka to continue to obtain Nogouchi’s services," the MP said.

He said that the previous government had not been able to maintain balance in its international policy and the foreign relations were lopsided. "We have lost a number of our friends in the international community thanks to the foreign policy of the previous government. Friendship between Japan and Sri Lanka had been affected. It was in such a context that my visit to Japan took place on an invitation extended by Japanese Prime Minister.

"Soon after President Maithripala Sirisena came to power on Jan. 08, 2015 our government tried to remedy the situation that prevailed on the diplomatic front and endeavoured to adopt a balanced foreign policy especially with India, China and Japan."

The Prime Minister said that his visit had been focused on promoting investment and bilateral trade, national development and peace building and reconciliation.

He said that Japan had promised to sponsor a special donor conference to reconstruct and develop the war ravaged areas in the North and the East.

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