Presidents decision on foreign judges in war probe will be final

President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision on the involvement of foreign judges in the investigation on incidents related to the war will be the final decision, a Government Minister said today.Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the President has made clear foreign judges will not be invited to be part of the domestic accountability process. President Maithripala Sirisena recently emphasized that he will not allow any foreign court, judge or organization to interfere in the internal administration and judiciary in the country. He also said he will not allow any national or international activity to take place which challenges the freedom, independence and the territorial integrity of the country.Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera however had said that no final decision had been taken and that everything will depend on the outcome of an ongoing consultation process. Several countries, at the recently concluded UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, had called for international participation in the accountability process.Earlier this year UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon had also called for international participation in the judicial mechanism when investigating the war in Sri Lanka.Ban ki-moon’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric had said that the Secretary‑General understands that the discussions in Sri Lanka on the transitional justice mechanism, including the judicial component, are ongoing. However he said the UN Secretary General remains hopeful that the Sri Lankan Government will stand by its commitments and fully implement a resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last year which notes the need for international participation. (Colombo Gazette) He said that when the President takes a stand and the Prime Minister also expresses a similar view that is the final decision and the matter is closed.

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