Sri Lanka’s Media Minister, Keheliya Rambukwella, has rejected the findings of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights latest report on Sri Lanka and threatened the Tamil National Alliance which has signed a joint statement calling for Sri Lanka to be referred to the ICC.
“The TNA is displaying its true colours in an age where the pandemic has hit every corner of the country and strict legal action must be taken in this regard,” said Rambukwella.
This call for an ICC referral was endorsed by major Tamil political leaders, Tamil civil society actors and Tamil victim community representatives.
In his statement, the Minister further attacked the previous administration claiming that “the allegations against Sri Lanka are an extension” caused by the previous administration’s endorsement of UNHRC resolution 30/1. The government has since renounced the resolution claiming that they will conduct their own domestic inquiry.
“We must be able to carry our internal affairs as a democratic country. UNHRC does not take any actions into countries that perpetrate mass crimes”, Rambukwella claimed.
Human Rights Watch has slammed the government’s call for a further domestic inquiry as simply diversion intended “to forestall international pressure on human rights”. HRW has highlighted the historic failures of these past commissions and noted that “international observers, UN experts, and the UN high commissioner for human rights have repeatedly highlighted deep systemic problems in Sri Lanka’s judicial processes”.
The Minister further denied abuses reported by the UNHRC and claimed that the UK Home Office could support these claims. He went on to state that the government would not betray its people in front of the UNHRC and would not cater to the demands of the Tamil diaspora and UNHRC.
This follows Mohan Pieris’s, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, attack on the UNHRC as a “tool for vanquished terrorists”.