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Sri Lanka's PM claims to have saved Mahinda Rajapaksa from ICC

Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed to have saved former president Mahinda Rajapaksa from the International Criminal Court (ICC) by not ratifying the Rome Statute.

Reiterating that Sri Lanka would conduct a domestic probe in response to the release of the UN report into Sri Lanka’s atrocities, Mr Wickremesinghe added that an independent judiciary under Maithripala Sirisena meant that an international judicial process would not be needed.

Speaking to the Sunday Leader, Mr Wickremesinghe said,

“I have saved Mahinda Rajapaksa from the electric chair and ICC (International Criminal Court) since we have not signed Rome Statute. He should always be grateful to me for that. No one can take our soldiers to ICC. But wherever a soldier commits a crime and an issue pertaining to the reputation of our armed forces, it is an offence punishable both under our domestic common law system as well as the military law. Therefore we don’t need ICC or any international probe. We have firmly stood by the premise that no international probe can be initiated since we are not a signatory to the Rome Statute and so we will have our own domestic mechanism instead.”

Commenting on introducing a new constitution, Mr Wickremesinghe called said a new parliament would need the support of more parliamentarians from the United People’s Freed Alliance (UPFA) to see changes implemented.

“But if we want to create the change, i.e. Constitutional reforms and we require the support of more parliamentarians, we need to discuss with the leader of the UPFA, who is President Maithripala Sirisena,” said Mr Wickremesinghe.

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