Foreign judges won’t be accepted

* Minister Abeywardena declares at President’s House


Abeywardene addressing the media(Pic by Saman Abesiriwardena)


by Shamindra Ferdinando

State Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena yesterday rejected a comprehensive set of proposals, including foreign judges and other personnel in accountability mechanisms to address the grievances of the war affected.

An eleven-member Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTFRM) on January 3, handed over a dossier containing far reaching proposals.

CTFRM headed by attorney-at-law Manouri Muttetuwegama dealt with contentious issues of demilitarization, lands, Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) as well as bifurcation of the Attorney General’s Department to pave the way for a Department of Public Prosecutions.

Secretary to the CTFRM Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuthu said that they wanted the government to formulate a new Act to replace the PTA in line with international standards.

Addressing the media at the President’s House, State Minister Abeywardena said that the government wouldn’t accept such proposals.

Matara District MP reiterated the UNP-SLFP coalition’s confidence in the local judiciary. "Whatever various interested parties say, we have faith in our judiciary."

When The Island pointed out that Muttetuwegama’s outfit had been asked to come up with a formula by the government and the recommendations were in accordance with Geneva Resolution co-sponsored and unanimously adopted in Oct 2015, State Minister Abeywardena insisted that Sri Lanka no longer faced threat of sanctions and hybrid courts in the wake of Maithripala Sirisena’s victory at the January 2015 presidential polls.

State Minister Abeywardena refrained from commenting on The Island observation that the Geneva Resolution referred to foreign judges including Commonwealth members.

State Minister Abeywardena said that the country was moving ahead under President Maithripala Sirisena’s leadership. The international community had changed its attitude towards Sri Lanka in the wake of the introduction of the 19 Amendment, he claimed.

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