Sri Lanka willing to accept international actors in war crimes probe

He said that while the judiciary was on the right track, it had been politicized over the years. (Colombo Gazette) President Maithripala Sirisena has previously said that foreign participation was not needed for an impartial inquiry. The Government says it is willing to consider international participation in investigating possible war crimes during the 26-year Tamil insurgency, the Reuters news agency reported.“I think it is only fair that the victims of the war would want some form of guarantee that the new courts will deliver justice and accountability in a fair manner, and for that we are willing to consider the participation of international actors,” Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said at a Washington think tank. The foreign minister’s comments come after the United Nations said earlier this month that it would not force Sri Lanka to accept a role for international judges, but any process must be impartial and independent. “They could be judges, they could be forensic experts, investigators, prosecutors, all these options are being looked at,” Samaraweera said.Many Sri Lankans oppose foreign involvement, and supporters of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa believe the U.N. resolution aims to punish the military unfairly.Samaraweera said the “contours and the architecture” of the court would be worked on in the next five or six months, after consulting with parties including the Tamil National Alliance. The United Nations says the Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tiger rebels were both likely to have committed war crimes during the war, which ended with a military victory in 2009.A U.N. resolution calls for all alleged war crimes to be investigated and tried in special courts by international judges.

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