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USTPAC ‘deeply disturbed’ by Sri Lankan justice minister’s rejection of war crimes 

The US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) said it was “deeply disturbed” by Sri Lanka’s justice minister’s rejection of war crimes and threat of legal action against those who attempt to pursue accountability for human rights violations committed by Sri Lankan soldiers.
"USTPAC is deeply troubled by Justice Minister Rajapakshe's comments,” said USTPAC president Dr Karunyan Arulanantham, adding that it should “raise alarm bells among the international community”.
“His calls for legal action against those who accuse the armed forces of war crimes appears an attempt to silence victims and human rights defenders as they search for truth and justice.  It runs counter to and potentially negates the current government's commitment to Transitional Justice and good governance."
Justice minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told BBC Sandeshaya that he "categorically rejects all allegations of war crimes against the armed forces".
Dr Karunyan further stated, "this development points to the need for transitional justice mechanisms that are fully independent from the unreformed Justice Ministry. 
“Given the Justice Minister's comments on mass graves, he should not have any role in creating, operating or monitoring the Office on Missing Persons.”
USTPAC said that the statement, “taken with repeated pledges to protect war heroes from President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, seriously damages victims' trust in the government to carry out credible transitional justice mechanisms and institutional reforms,” as agreed to by Sri Lanka in a UN resolution passed last year.
"The Minister's statement should raise alarm bells among the international community,” said Dr Karunyan. “The partiality of the Justice Minister is another indication that there must be international expert participation in the transitional justice mechanisms in Sri Lanka, including international judges.   Critically, statements of this kind by senior members of the government point to the need for long-term monitoring on implementation of Resolution 30/1 by the OHCHR."    
See the full text of the statement here.