Harim Peiris

Political and Reconciliation perspectives from Sri Lanka

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Archive for June 23rd, 2011

International squeeze tightens as domestic policy hardens

Posted by harimpeiris on June 23, 2011

1. Legal proceedings in the United States
The problem with a dead body, in the event of a violent death is that it is irrefutable evidence that a crime has been committed. Accordingly the presence of the bodies of five young Tamil school boys on a beach in Trincomalee with bullets in their brains, as well as the bodies of seventeen aid workers shot execution style within the grounds of their own office premises at Muttur is irrefutable evidence that unnatural violent death and hence crimes had occurred. Unfortunately Sri Lanka’s domestic mechanism’s namely, the Presidential Commission on Grave Human Rights Abuses, with IIGEP monitoring, as well as judicial proceedings have neither established the facts nor punished the culprits. Accordingly the next of kin of one of the boys shot dead in Trincomalee as well as of one of the deceased in Muttur have filed action in the US Courts, under universal jurisdiction against President Mahinda Rajapakse. While the President is immune from prosecution within Sri Lanka, such immunity ceases to exist beyond our shores, except as sovereign immunity within limits while holding office. Summons for the case was duly served on the Secretary, Ministry of Justice as the appropriate authority under the relevant international covenants. In the event that Sri Lanka does not contest the case, as ex parte trial may proceed which could result in a prejudicial judgment and also provide legal precedents for other cases.

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