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Sri Lanka rejects international component to accountability, denies reports of ongoing torture

Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Sirisena has reiterated that international involvement would ‘never’ be allowed to deal with accountability for mass atrocities, and rejected recent reports by NGOs that Sri Lanka’s military continue to torture Tamils.

Speaking to BBC Sinhala on the UN resolution that called for a war crimes court supported by foreign judges, Mr Sirisena said,

“I will never agree to international involvement on this matter. We have more than enough specialists, exports and knowledgeable people in our country to solve our internal issue.”

He added, “The international community need not worry about matters of state interest.”

Responding to questions on reports of ongoing torture by Sri Lanka’s military, Sirisena said,

“I totally deny that. If someone can prove with evidence I am ready to give them the opportunity. Justice is served equally in this country.”

After a damning UN report into Sri Lanka’s mass atrocities, Sirisena’s government co-sponsored a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on accountability and reconciliation that called for the set-up of a war crime court with substantial international involvement.

Sirisena’s most recent remarks fly in the face of the undertakings Sri Lanka made at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

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