A leading Tamil diaspora group has demanded the participation of international judges in Sri Lanka’s transitional justice processes in the wake of a UN report that was critical of country’s judicial system.
Monica Pinto, the former UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers was on a mission to Sri Lanka from April 29 to May 7, 2016. Her report was tabled by the current Rapporteur, Diego Garcia-Sayan at the 35th session of the UN Human Rights Council last week.
Responding to the report, the London-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in a statement said, the international community and the government of Sri Lanka should take note of the report and underlined the need to establish impartial, credible and effective transitional justice processes with the participation of international judges to address the past comprehensively, with the aim to achieving long-lasting peace, reconciliation and prosperity for all the people of Sri Lanka.
The UN report was highly critical of the Sri Lankan justice system. It described the judiciary as partial and politicised.
In the report, Sri Lanka’s Attorney General’s department was described as “rather lethargic” with regards to sensitive cases and the department defends the interest of the government and not the public.
According to the GTF, such criticism justified the need for the inclusion of international judges in Sri Lanka’s transitional justice processes.
However, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe slammed the report and accused the former UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Monica Pinto of falling prey to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) when compiling a report on Sri Lanka.