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‘There are no tribunals’ says Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera declared tribunals would not be taking place in a soon to be declared accountability mechanism, and that instead the government would be investigating “allegations of war crimes”.

In an interview with the Sunday Observer Mr Samaraweera also said his government would have to accommodate Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s opposition to international judges.

“Between these two positions of having foreign judges and not having them, there are many acceptable options which can be explored and finalised,” he said.
However, he went on to add that tribunals would not be taking place and instead the accountability mechanism will “investigate” if war crimes had taken place.

“There are no tribunals. There are allegations of war crimes, the mechanisms are to make a credible investigation if those allegations are true,” he said. “If the allegations are not true then we will say it, but we are not going to shoot the messenger like the previous government.”

“I am confident that our model will be a blueprint for other transitional justice mechanisms of the future,” he concluded.

See more from the Sunday Observer here.

Last week Mr Samaraweera told a crowd in Colombo that his government “will never bring down foreign judges” to prosecute for violations of international humanitarian law, according to the the Sri Lanka Mirror.

See more here.