No mandate for foreign judges – Marapana

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By 2017-08-19

Newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana said Sri Lanka's Constitution does not provide for foreign judges to get involved in the post-war accountability process.

All they are permitted to do is to observe the manner in which the cases are being heard, he told reporters yesterday after assuming duties at the Ministry


Marapana, who also served as the country's Attorney General, added: "We have made this clear to the international community and they have accepted that."

Marapana, soon after assuming duties said he is well aware about the depth of responsibilities entrusted......to him, even though he has some reservations about the circumstances that led to his appointment.

"This ministry has the responsibilty for the image our country would have in the world.

If we do the right thing the world would get the right image and vice versa.

My predecessors, Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva did a great job in convincing the international community that this country is committed to uphold human rights and ensure justice for the war victims," he added.

The government has two years to implement the resolution which was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in March 2017.

"You cannot do this overnight. You need time. We have convinced the international community that we are committed and we are not playing the fool," he said.

The Minister said that there is no pressure from any country on Sri Lanka with regards to the accountability process as the current government has shown it is moving in the right direction.

"If you take countries like Bosnia or Sudan, which faced similar resolutions, they are yet to complete their mandate even after 20 years," he pointed out.
(GW)

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