Harim Peiris

Political and Reconciliation perspectives from Sri Lanka

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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

De-radicalization of extremists is not achieved through alienating moderates

Posted by harimpeiris on June 6, 2019

By Harim Peiris

(Published in the Island Online on 04th June 2019)

(This column was written before Rathana Thera ended his fast)

As this article is being written Member of Parliament and presidential advisor, the Ven. Ratna Thera’s fast in Kandy, has entered its fourth day and consequently resulted in his key demand being met, that of the governors of the Eastern and Western provinces, M.L.A.M Hizbulla and Azath Salley, handing in their resignations to President Sirisena, their appointing authority. It is rather ironic that a presidential advisor, takes up a fast in protest against two of the President’s key Muslim allies. One hopes the Thera, will give up his fast, considering that he has succeeded in having two of his key demands met and not least because as a Member of Parliament and a presidential advisor he has access to the powers that be and can advocate his views in private rather than in public.

Whether the resignation of the two governors would eliminate the tension that had been building up in the Kandy area through the fast and aided by the ultimatum to the President issued by the newly pardoned head of the BBS yesterday, remains to be seen. Memories have not healed and victims not entirely compensated for the damage and destruction in Digana and there are genuine fears among the Muslim community of fresh violence against their properties. Their persons, generally being spared in the new calibrated violence against the community.

Sri Lanka, as indeed many other countries of the world, clearly face the challenge of dealing with a stream of political violence aided by international terror networks and influenced by a particular understanding and interpretation of the Islamic scriptures, finding its origins in Saudi Arabia. This deradicalization endeavor however requires the support of the Muslim community in general, which support they have been providing both before and after the Easter bomb attacks. In fact, with regard to the NTJ ring leader, evidence surfacing through the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the attacks, is that there was ample information of violent attacks made available to the State, but no action was taken. The general response by all senior Muslim community leaders, is that the community itself was giving information and altering the government to the existence and the rise of an extremist, violent small group in their midst, but no action was taken. That no action was taken is fairly self-evident. That information was available, both from domestic Muslim sources and also reportedly from the India authorities is also established. The only argument being as to who knew what and who should shoulder the responsibility for the failure to act. Perhaps we should collectively take responsibility for this failure. After all it was a failure on the part of the state and by state institutions. Ensuring that violent extremism holds little attraction for the Muslim community in general and Muslim youth in particular is certainly not achieved by ostracizing the community, making it impossible for them to engage in their livelihoods, especially trade and other generalized assaults on their community life, schools, mosques, businesses and way of life.

Sri Lanka’s past experience with violent extremism

Sri Lanka’s past experience with violent extremism, is that moderate leadership is the best panacea for mitigating and managing such extremism. When largely Sinhala youth took up arms under the banner of the JVP in the early 1970s and again in the late 1980s, it was the lack of support for such views and activities by the vast majority of the Sinhala people, their academics, religious leaders and others, which ensured that the violent expression JVP politics would not gain traction in Sinhala society. Conversely the LTTE, when it sought domination of the Tamil community engaged in killing off all its political opponents ranging from the TULF to the TELO and EPRLF to ensure that they were the last and only one standing to ensure being the “sole representatives” of the Tamil people. Today the re-emergence and leadership of the Tamil community by the staunchly non-violent and moderate Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) under the leadership of the Sambanthan, Senathirajaha and Sumanthiran trinity (no pun intended) is the best bulwark and defense against a reemergence of a violent expression of ethnic Tamil nationalism. Similarly, the moderate political leadership of the Muslim community, led by Minister Rauf Hakeem and the SLMC, is an essential ally in the common endeavour to ensure that the Muslim community continues in the same, socially integrated and politically moderate path they have trod for centuries and certainly in post independent Sri Lanka. Attacking the moderates, the symbols of their community and ordinary Muslims is certainly no recipe for dealing with extremism.

Representing the Sinhala Buddhist voice

The majority Sinhala voice of whom the vast majority are Buddhist, though a significant Sinhala Catholic community exists, need to also examine who and how their interests are represented. It was interestingly after the Digana violence that the Mahanayake of the Malwatta Chapter, famously stated in a barely disguised allusion to the chief suspect perpetrator organization, that there was no need for “Balakayas” in Sri Lanka, because we have a state with adequate armed forces and law enforcement for national security. There is absolutely no need for the law of the jungle or for majoritarian groups to take to calibrated communal violence against a minority.

It is regrettable that as the security situation becomes increasing under control, as confirmed to us by both the Commander-in-Chief and the Army commander, that communal disharmony and tensions continue to boil and simmer. The onset of the election cycle may well mean that political actors are not particularly incentivized to defuse tensions and increase social harmony. Accordingly, it may well then be the responsibility of other social actors-from civil society, religious leaders, opinion makers and business leaders-to seek to defuse tensions and heal the wounds of a yet again polarizing Sri Lankan society.

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Avoiding a July ’83 pogrom against Muslims

Posted by harimpeiris on May 22, 2019

By Harim Peiris

(Published in the Island Online on 16th May 2019)

Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapakse has gone on record, advising people in general and his supporters in particular one presumes, to avoid a repetition of the black July’83 pogrom and this time against the Muslim community. Excellent advice indeed from the former President and current leader of the opposition, one which unfortunately seems to have been observed in the breech by events which had been occurring the past few days in the North Western Province and the Gampaha District in particular. Just when Sri Lanka was seemingly slowly recovering from the Easter bombings and both the commander in chief and the army commander claimed the situation was under control and that people could and should resume their day to day lives again. That schools could reopen and life can go on, violence against Muslims very similar to that which happened in Digana last year, Ampara before that and in Durga Town in 2014 broke out.

Christian leaders call for forgiveness

The Christian community who were the primary targets of the Easter Sunday attacks through the bombing of their places of worship, were in the aftermath of the attacks, very clear, through unequivocal statements by their leaders both spiritual and temporal, that the Christian community response would be to forgive, not take revenge and actually reach out to the Muslim community with the love of Jesus Christ. That after all was the essence of the message of Easter, of the risen Christ. This surely calmed things down for several weeks or at least did not provide an excuse for an attack.

Mahason Balakaya and Namal Kumara arrested

The police authorities have been rather coy about releasing information about the ongoing investigations into the Easter carnage, claiming with considerable merit that premature disclose would compromise the ongoing investigations. However, to their credit it was revealed that with regards the anti-Muslim violence of the last few days that the leader of the Mahason Balakaya and Namal Kumara of assassination plot fame were taken into custody on suspicion of instigating and involvement in the mob attacks. Now the leader of the Mahason Balakaya was in custody on charges of instigating similar attacks against the Muslims in the Digana violence, last year. It is noteworthy that one of the first events to occur during the abortive 52 day, Rajapakse constitutional coup regime of October / November last year, was that the Mahason Balakaya leader was released on bail due to the police and the Attorney General’s Department not objecting to bail. Clearly, he saw his release as a license to ply his trade again. Perhaps the newly appointed Attorney General can investigate why his department or the Police did not object to bail for the prime suspect in the Digana violence. The reality with all political violence in this country is that it is organized and instigated, with political patronage which provides the impunity. The attacks against Muslims in Duragha Town in 2014, Ampara and Digana last year or the North Western Province, after Easter, is that it is instigated and organized, not spontaneous.

Dealing with radicalization within the Muslim Community

As discourse and details emerge from within the Muslim community and its leaders themselves about radical elements and radicalization within the Muslim community, it is worth breaking up the real challenges in this regard faced by Sri Lankans in general and the Muslim community in particular, which are three-fold. Firstly, there is a need to avoid extremist violence or violent extremism. This is the kind of murderous hate which seeks to blow up people. With a theological or ideological cover for their murderous hate. This is primarily a security issue and is on par with ensuring that for whatever reason, there is no terrorism in Sri Lanka. Secondly there is the need to engage in processes and dialogue with and within the Muslim community on the changing nature by some of their number, of their interpretation of their faith and scriptures, clearly more influenced now by Arab and specifically Saudi Arabian Wahabism and Saudi funds. There isn’t a problem per se with any interpretation of scriptures, just that it cannot instigate violence. Though the opposition is gunning for Minster Rishard Bathurdeen and a no confidence motion against him has been handed over, the current locus of violent extremism has been Kathankudy, which is the pocket borough of Eastern Province Governor Hizbulla. There is a call for the Governor to step down or be removed, though neither seems likely. Thirdly there is the need to continue to have Sri Lanka’s Muslim community to be the integrated and peacefully coexisting community, which makes up an integral part of Sri Lanka’s multi ethnic and multi religious society. This would require some marginalization of extremism by the Muslim community and a differentiation of terrorism and the Islamic faith in the public discourse.

Over thirty years ago, in July 1983, there was a pogrom against the Tamil community, a clear failure of the state to prevent violence a minority community, amidst accusations of senior state actors, including Cabinet ministers involved in instigating and organizing the attacks and covering up for the attackers. State security stood idly by. Fortunately, the Sinhala community dominated Sri Lankan state structures and the polity realized the folly of organized political violence and the likes of July ’83 was never repeated. We should hope the lessons have not been forgotten. Unfortunately, Durga Town and Digana in the past and the North Western Province in the past few days have provided a new model of violence, namely carefully calibrated attacks on Muslim property, while avoiding persons. The problem with violence, even carefully calibrated, is that it breeds retaliation and is often escalated by perpetrators. Frist it was burning the Jaffna Public library, when that didn’t achieve the desired result, we had July ’83. Clearly Digana had not satiated the appetite for anti-Muslim violence. The political patrons behind anti-Muslim violence may never be publicly revealed but it is a little more evident as to who is seeking to claim political advantage from the situation. Social media is rife as to who the savior should be.

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Moving Beyond the Easter Carnage

Posted by harimpeiris on May 11, 2019

By Harim Peiris

(Published in the Island Online on 09th May 2019)

As this article is being penned, the Parliament of Sri Lanka is engaging in a two-day adjournment debate on the devastating massacres launched against innocents on Easter Sunday in Colombo, Negombo and Batticala. In the course of the debate, President Sirisena, as Minister of Defense and Minister of Law and Order expressed confidence, that the security forces have got on top of the situation, arresting not only the conspirators but also negating the capacity for terrorism of the remaining culprits. The Commander of the Army echoed similar sentiments calling on the civil population to resume their normal day to day activities and that security has been reestablished. A relatively quick return to normalcy after the devastating terrorist massacres.

A legal framework and oversight of intelligence operations

We could only hope that parliamentary debate would reveal why intelligence information from India, was not acted upon, why as alleged by no less than government ministers our own intelligence services was allegedly paying off, the accused leaders and some members of the National Thowheed Jamath besides other unsavory organizations such as the Bodu Bala Sena. Making the accused persons, actually assets of our intelligence agencies. It is clear that unlike the uniformed security services, there is insufficient oversight of the intelligence services and an inadequate legal framework for their work. The United States for instance as a global superpower has serious congressional oversight of intelligence operations, besides the executive, ensuring that intelligence services, whose work is secretive and covert by nature, is not unaccountable to civilian authority in a structured and legal manner. In a highly politicized society like ours, good oversight and accountability prevents or manages politicization of the intelligence services.

Deradicalization of extremists

In the wake of the deadly Easter Sunday massacres, Muslim leaders themselves have been complaining that they have for over a decade been informing and seeking to get remedial action by the relevant authorities regarding the extremist elements in their midst and their potential for violence. Particularly the most recent call to arms and violence by National Thowheed Jamath leader Zaharan, now freely available on social media, had previously been brought to the notice of the authorities, but to no avail. The reason one suspects, is political. The extremist elements were seen as political opponents of their more moderate political leaders and therefore nurtured, including through intelligence service payoffs, as alternate leaders and given the space to grow and operate. Sri Lanka’s unfinished nation building exercise means, that the focus of the state establishment, is to weaken and keep at bay, the political leadership of minority communities, where Tamil or Muslim and this has meant that potential alternative leaders, though more extreme, are nurtured. For instance, In the case of the Tamil community, the LTTE remnants in Sri Lanka, KP, Karuna and Piliyan are not with the moderate ITAK dominated TNA, who will have nothing to do with them, but with the so called national parties, dominated by the majority community, particularly its more nationalist ones, who are the most keen to keep the minorities divided. A dubious policy with potentially disastrous consequences.

But the deradicalizing of those Sri Lankans who claim to kill in the name of Islam, whether identified with ISIS, another foreign terrorist group or not, is something that has to come from within the Sri Lankan Muslim community itself and their leadership, especially their religious leadership. Within any faith community the interpretation of scripture will always have a degree of diversity, otherwise there would be no need for institutions of religious study and scholarship. However, what cannot and is not allowed in any civilized society, is the law of the jungle with murderous random violence against innocents. Preventing the violence, is a state security responsibility. Challenging any understanding or articulation of theology which provides a cover for that violence, is the responsibility of that religion’s scholars and religious leaders. A challenge with considerable work to do in the future.

The debate on the Counter Terrorism Bill (CTA) vs the PT

Dragged into the debate following the Easter Sunday attacks has been the proposal to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), with the Counter Terrorism Act (CTA). The government is rather keen to see the enactment of the CTA, committed as it is to fight terrorism within international best practice and in cooperation with the international community of nations. This undertaking has also been given in terms of the UNHRC process. There are however valid concerns regarding the proposed CTA, including the definition of terrorism which is so broad as to make any political dissent, a terrorist offence and these need to be amended. But it is a big improvement on the existing PTA.

The SLPP and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse has been attacking the proposed CTA, which rather like many of their other attacks on policy matters, seems high on rhetoric, low on specifics and designed to inflame passions, especially in an election year. Fishing in troubled waters, may be the rather uncharitable way to describe it. The rather obvious objective of seeking to prevent the enactment of the CTA, is to retain the PTA, which in the past has been a tool of political repression, like in the imprisonment of journalist Tissanayagam. The PTA when introduced was meant to be temporary. Sri Lanka requires a new legal framework for anti-terror security and the Easter Sunday massacres should not be allowed to derail much needed and long overdue legal reforms.

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Christian forgiveness the key to rebuilding unity after Easter massacres

Posted by harimpeiris on April 29, 2019

By Harim Peiris

(Published in the Island on 27th April 2019)

Sri Lanka, in 2019 was celebrating ten years of peace and quiet after the end of our brutal, decades long civil war and sadly that tranquility was shattered by the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks on churches and hotels in Colombo, its suburbs, Negombo and Batticalo. The wanton targeting of innocents with extreme violence is contemptible and the horrific costs in terms of shattered lives is tragic and sorrowful. Emerging from the ashes of our civil war, Sri Lanka deserve better than renewed violence and sectarian conflict. Even as President Sirisena has convened an all-party conference and a multi religious forum to discuss the current state of affairs, a few preliminary observations can be made.

1) Colossal failure of state security

It is almost incomprehensible how a vast terror network could have been established and made operational in and around Sri Lanka, without the knowledge of our much-vaunted security establishment. This is not really a military failure, but a security failure for which the police and especially the state intelligence apparatus needs to held primarily responsible. The President has accordingly called for the resignation of the IGP and the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense. Holding somebody responsible for this colossal security failure would be an important first step in reestablishing confidence that the Sri Lankan state is able to perform that most basic responsibility of a nation state, namely the protection of its citizens. Specific security lapses, like how such a large amount of explosives were smuggled into the country, how they were moved around, bombs assembled, attacks planned, a suicide bomber who was arrested and then later released, widely reported as due to political pressure by a presidential governor appointee, why information from local Muslim leaders of radicalization was ignored or at least not monitored for a violent stream and why warnings from foreign intelligence agencies were ignored should all be fully investigated and those guilty of gross negligence and dereliction of duty held responsible.

 2) Christian forgiveness should be harnessed

It is laudable that after the Easter Sunday carnage that all Christian leaders, while still grieving the loss of innocents and loved ones, have unitedly advocated forgiveness in the midst of that pain and reassured the Muslim community that the actions of a depraved few were not being ascribed to all. Rev.Fr Jude Fernando, the priest who was celebrating Mass at St. Anthony’s Kochchikade, when the attack occurred and who survived, stated thus “we love peace. We forgive. Our God is a God of peace, He is not a God of revenge. We love each other. We forgive”.  Christian Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran, speaking in parliament on the re-imposition of a state of national emergency stated “we are grieving, but we will not allow hate and revenge to overtake us… we do not respond to perpetrators who acted out of hate with hatred”. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauf Hakeem acknowledged this when he tweeted “I bow to the Christian community and the Reverend clergy who have proven their magnanimity in practicing the word of Christ “if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also”. It is crucial that neither a backlash against other innocents nor communal violence is allowed to reoccur. The very essence of Easter Sunday, is that Jesus Christ came into the world, suffered as we do, took humanity’s sin on Himself, was unjustly crucified and rose again. It is a celebration of new life. That reality the suicide bombers cannot rob and they should not be allowed to let their hatred bread hatred.

That Sri Lankan communities are coming together rather than pulling apart through these horrific incidents was even recognized internationally, where in the British House of Commons, debating the loss of British lives in the attacks, special mention was made, that Sri Lankans are coming together, rather than pulling apart in the face of this tragedy.

This does not however mean that the perpetrators of the Easter Sunday massacres are to go Scott free, especially to wreak more mayhem. They must be neutralized, held accountable and justice should prevail. The attacks were not just on the victims, not just on Christians, but on all of us. The most crucial aspect of justice for the entire Christian community is the fundamental right to worship in peace and safety, in association with fellow Christ followers. A fundamental practice, which Christ followers have adhered to, through millennia, whether persecuted by the Roman Empire in the first century, or various other groups, ideologies and isms in the twenty first century.

3) Muslim leaders must squash the extremist violence

Sri Lankan Muslim leaders, both their secular political leadership and the religious leaders, the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama have unequivocally condemned the Easter Sunday massacres, distanced their community from the same and expressed their sorrow and grief over the situation. They would however, need to do more to address violent radicalism within a small sliver of their number. The reality is that the Saudi Arabian funded Madrasa’s in the Eastern province and a particular interpretation of Wahhabism as preached by the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) advocates violence. Islamic scholars and theologians would need to do much more, to challenge, dilute and mitigate the violence advocated by the NTJ.

Sri Lanka can and must rise out of this carnage and once again proceed on the journey of peace and unity, a journey we began afresh, a decade ago at the end of the civil war. We cannot afford fresh violence on new fault lines. The security establishment has the responsibility to prevent violence, religious leaders to engender harmony and political leaders to foster social cohesiveness rather than divisiveness.

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Mangala sets the record straight on UNHRC resolution

Posted by harimpeiris on April 5, 2019

By Harim Peiris

(Published in the Island on 4th April 2019)

Earlier this week, former Foreign Minister and current Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who recently celebrated his unbroken thirty years of public service as a parliamentarian, issued a lengthy statement which sought to set the record straight and correct misconceptions about the UNHRC process and Sri Lanka’s policy and position in that regard. The situation was aggravated by the conduct of one member of Sri Lanka’s delegation who had a solo press conference and claimed to have corrected the UN High Commissioner, a former president of Chile, who promptly denied the same. Later in the week, the opposition JO / SLPP has challenged the Government to correct what they claim are contradictions, between Minister Mangala’s statement and the statement of current Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, who is undoubtedly fortunate to be Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, as a national list MP, who was forced to resign his previous portfolio in 2015, after public and his ministerial colleagues outrage over his unconscionable defense of the Avant Garde floating armory. However, the issues raised are more important than the personalities involved and deserve objective examination.

Sri Lanka requires reconciliation

There is one self-evident fact, which Minister Mangala Samaraweera reiterates, and what the Rajapakse era Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report (LLRC) documents and articulates most clearly, which is that a nation after a violent decades long fratricidal civil war, requires healing through addressing the effects, causes and the conduct of such a brutal conflict. Fundamental political theory would teach us that non reoccurrence of such conflict requires addressing these issues. Unresolved they lead to renewed conflict. About two decades after the first JVP uprising, we experienced a second uprising.

While all Sri Lankans suffered in many ways from the conflict, there are direct victims, who lost their lives, family members, limbs, homes, properties and businesses in the conflict. Many others were traumatized by the war, in different ways. The war widows, the orphans, the maimed, the families of the missing, the PTA detainees, unskilled and socially non-integrated ex combatants and the conflict caused destitute are a constant reminder to all Sri Lankans, ten years after the end of the war, that significant unfinished work of reconciliation, still exists.

Our reconciliation process is internationalized

Sri Lanka, does not live in isolation in the world.  Our economy is closely integrated and globally dependent and so Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and our engagement with the world is crucial in our national interest. We did not even fight our war against the LTTE in isolation. With no domestic armaments industry, we fought our war, with globally purchased weapons and more importantly with international cooperation in intelligence and freezing of LTTE financing. Post 9/11, the West banned the LTTE front organizations and their funds, while India supplied the intelligence which enabled the Sri Lankan Navy to sink the LTTE weapons ships, in mid sea. The world demonstrated an interest in Sri Lanka’s war and post war reconciliation, because our conflict was internationalized especially through the dispersion of the Tamil communities around the world, post the 1983 pogrom. There are over one hundred thousand Sri Lankan refugees still in India, more than double that number in UK and Canada, with many others scattered throughout the western world and influential in the land of their adoption.  All of whom have families, relatives, properties and memories about Sri Lanka, giving those countries a legitimate interest in non-reoccurrence. It is a testament of this internationalization that the first foreign visitor to Sri Lanka when the war ended was the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon The joint statement between then President Rajapakse on behalf of Sri Lanka and the UN Secretary General, clearly lays out Sri Lanka’s international commitments and obligation to establish post war reconciliation through a political solution, address the effects of the conflict and provide accountability for the conduct of the war. It is the Rajapakse Administration’s unwillingness to implement its own commitments which saw increasing international strictures and growing concern, through the UNHRC resolutions of pre 2015. Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of resolutions post 2015, took back the ownership and control of the reconciliation process, from being foreign driven to being locally owned and managed.

That vexatious issue of Commonwealth or foreign Judges

Unarguably, between the three issues of the effects, causes and conduct of the war, the most politically sensitive issue is dealing the conduct of our war. It is this issue which the Rajapakse return project and the JO political opposition and their allies seeks to capitalize on. The controversy is over the phrase “foreign or commonwealth judges, investigators, prosecutors.” etc. in the resolution. Firstly, that we require accountability for the conduct of the conflict is unarguable. That the LTTE was designated a terrorist organization by most of the world, was due to them being held accountable for their actions, including attacks on civilians and civilian targets. Accountability is two-fold. We cannot expect global cooperation in managing the international remnant of the LTTE, their funds and possible progeny without our own accountability and clear commitment to conduct our own national security and defense in keeping with international best practices and the rule of law, including international humanitarian law (IHL). It is in the interest of Sri Lanka’s military, now an increasingly important part of the UN’s global peace keeping forces, to demonstrate our professionalism and commitment to the highest standards and cooperate with UN processes. As recent CID investigations and indictments served by the Attorney General indicate particularly with regards some Naval personal and rogue elements in Naval intelligence, that human rights violations were not just part of the “war effort” but personal vendettas and brutality for profit.

At the outset it must be recognized that UNHRC resolution 30/1 of 2015, which Sri Lanka co-sponsored commits Sri Lanka to a “domestic process of accountability”. Very Sri Lankan and based in Sri Lanka. That the administration of justice in Sri Lanka is cross border is not alien to our justice system at all. Until 1972 our highest court of appeal was the Privy Council of the House of Lords in UK and in fact the Army officers accused of plotting a coup against Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike was acquitted by the Privy Council. Contrast that with the war winning, “best army commander in the world” Field Marshall Fonseka who was thrown in a local jail, after a dubious and seriously flawed local process, when he failed in his political challenge to the Rajapakses’ in a democratic election. Similarly, we impeached our Chief Justice after her court ruled against the Rajapakse regime. We started getting our house back in order only post 2015.

The Rajapakse era International Group of Eminent Persons (IGEP), headed by a foreign (Indian) chief justice Bhagwatti, set up in consort with a Presidential Commission of Inquiry perhaps lays out a Rajapakse model for international involvement in domestic justice processes. As Minister Mangala Samaraweera correctly notes at length in his statement, UNHRC Resolution 30/1 of 2015, takes back to Sri Lanka, our process of reconciliation with a firmly enshrined domestic accountability process.

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