CID to play crucial role in investigating war crimes allegations

We will not bring foreign judges as Rajapaksas did - Rajitha


by Zacki Jabbar

The government says that its critics were totally preoccupied with the composition of the Independent Domestic War Crimes Court to be established in terms of a UNHRC resolution, that they were unable to see the crucial role that the Criminal Investigation Department of Sri Lanka would have to play.

Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said in Colombo last week that a small group of Opposition parliamentarians headed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were howling in protest having forgotten that it was their leader who had engaged the services of foreign judges.

" We have clearly stated that the  Independent Domestic War Crimes Court which   the United Nations Human Rights Council insists should be established before its next sessions due in June would be manned by Sri Lankan judges.The services of persons such as former Judge Weeramantry can be obtained", he noted.

He further said that their critics had lost sight of the CID’s importance in investigating allegations of war crimes against the Rajapaksa government and the LTTE, especially during the final stages of the war, which ended on May 19, 2009.

Senaratne said that the role of the Special Court would be to evaluate the evidence placed before it, based mainly on the inquiries conducted by the CID.

"The Rajapaksas have panicked and jumped the gun because it was they who were in command. Ordinary soldiers cannot be held accountable for following  orders. If they had failed to obey directives, we all know what the repercussions would have been."

Resolutions that had been adopted by the United Nations cannot be thrown into the dustbin as the Rajapaksas did. Such a course of action would only lead to the people suffering as a result, he pointed out.

Nor could the Sirisena - Wickremesinghe government become the laughing stock of the world by claiming "zero casualties" as the Rajapaksas had done.

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