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CJA warns against attempts to 'water down' UN resolution on Sri Lanka

The Centre for Justice and Accountability (CJA) called for Sri Lanka's war-affected communities to be involved in meaningful consultations “ at every level” to shape an accountability mechanism to prosecute for war crimes in Sr Lanka, and warned against attempts to “water down” a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council.

The CJA stated it was “deeply troubled by recent statements made by Sri Lanka officials regarding the proposed accountability mechanism” including from Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Mr Wickeremesinghe stated on Wednesday that “there was nothing to be gained from abroad,” rejecting international involvement.

The resolution, which was tabled on Thursday, called for a "credible justice process" with "independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for integrity and  impartiality" and "Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers, and authorized prosecutors and investigators".

The CJA also stated “of course, for Sri Lanka to become a success story, any truth or accountability mechanism must be shaped at every level by meaningful consultations with war affected communities".

In a letter to the US Ambassador to Geneva Keith Harper, the CJA went on to say that the organisation “cautions against any attempt to “water down” the proposed accountability mechanism in the name of cooperation, as this would go against long-term interests of peace, security justice and reconciliation in the country”.

“We should not forget the structural barriers to truth and justice in Sri Lanka's domestic system that brought us to the OISL investigation in the first place,” said the CJA Executive Director C. Dixon Osburn.

See the full text of the letter here.