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Chandrika says court involvement not needed in war crimes probes

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has said that the involvement of courts into the probe on Sri Lankan war crimes is not needed.

Kumaratunga, the current head of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), responded to the question of national reconciliation in a recent interview stating: “It is successfully carried out. In the face of opposition and a handful of extremists, activities are continuing with the blessings of the majority. Reconciliation means a lengthy activity. What is urgent now is to bring in a new Constitution, and then comes the establishment of the Office of the Missing Persons. With these in place, there would not be any necessity to have courts to probe war crimes.”

Further, Kumaratunga expressed criticism of the Consultation Task Force (CTF) report led by Manori Muththettuwegama. The report stated that foreign judges must participate in the probe on war crimes to which Kumaratunga stated, “They have no right to comment in that manner. The committee was entrusted to obtain the views of the public and submit its report to the government. That was the responsibility of the committee. Their own ideas too had been incorporated in the report.”

Amnesty International reported that neither President Sirisena or Prime Minister Wickremesinghe attended the handing over of the CTF report – with the Finance Minister Abeywardene stating that the President rejects the inclusion of foreign judges.

“President Sirisena and the government have full confidence in our judiciary, legal process and judges. We have extremely eminent and experienced judges and our judges have served in various countries and global organizations that have given much credit to the country," said Abeywardene.

Read more on Colombo Telegraph.

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