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President Scoffs At Dublin Verdict

[The Sunday Leader.lk, Sunday, 24 January 2010 10:17 No Comment]

By Munza Mushtaq

President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week scoffed at the explosive judgment delivered recently by a Dublin based International Tribunal which found the Sri Lankan Government, its military and aligned paramilitary groups guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war.

At a meeting he had with editors of several weekend newspapers at his official residence in Kandy last Wednesday, in response to a question raised by The Sunday Leader Rajapaksa dismissed the war crimes tribunal and its findings – insisting they were unimportant and insignificant.

Asked if he would at any stage hold an independent inquiry on the allegations of war crimes based on the Dublin tribunal – if so pressured to do so by the United Nations, he replied curtly, “We will see about it at that time.”

In response to the war crimes tribunal the Sri Lankan Government has consistently maintained that Western forces are aligned in an ‘international conspiracy’ to tarnish this Government’s image and taint its victory against the LTTE.

Meanwhile, issuing the final report made public yesterday, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal concluded that the international community, particularly the United Kingdom and United States should share responsibility for the breakdown of the island’s peace process.

The Tribunal ruled that the European Union in particular had been complicit in the obstruction and dismantling of the peace process and stigmatizing Tamil groups in banning the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“The International Community has neglected its duty to promote peace in the region,” the tribunal said.

The Tribunal’s ten member international jury panel has recommended the Sri Lankan government establish an authoritative Truth and Justice commission; Immediately repeal of Prevention of Terrorism Act, 1979; Disband all paramilitary forces and reduce military presence in Tamil areas; and Implement a political power sharing solution with the full participation of the Tamil people.

The Tribunal has further urged the International Community, including the Sri Lankan Government to appoint a UN special rapporteur for Sri Lanka to investigate and identify responsibilities for human rights violations, violations of humanitarian law and war crimes committed by all parties in conflict.

[Full Coverage]

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