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HRW Blames Russia, China Over Sri Lanka

[The Sunday Leader.lk, Sunday, 21 October 2012 08:56 No Comment]

(By Easwaran Rutnam) New York based Human Rights Watch blamed Russia and China over the failure by the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Sri Lanka during the war to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“While war raged in Sri Lanka, Russia and China’s strong support of the government in Colombo thwarted almost all efforts to even discuss the known horrors committed during the war by both sides,” International Justice Director at HRW Richard Dicker told The Sunday Leader.

“Against this backdrop, referral to the ICC remained a dim hope.”

Meanwhile the government says it advocates negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means to settle internal and global disputes.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Dr. Palith Kohona said that countries must be allowed to create their own local mechanisms to consolidate peace, encourage reconciliation and strengthen democratic institutions.

He was speaking during a full day debate at the UN on the Security Council on the International Criminal Court (ICC), Kohona’s office said.

Kohona said that the rule of law must be understood in the context of individual rights, as well as in ensuring the progress of individuals and societies, particularly with the right to development.

“The United Nations could play a crucial, helpful role in domestic compliance with treaty obligations by helping States build capacity. Close cooperation in applying laws nationally, regionally and internationally was vital to address the growing problem of transnational organized crime and terrorism, which threatened global peace and good order.” he said.

Confronting those challenges, Kohona said required close cooperation and capacity-building nationally and regionally, including enforcement by the law.

“Unilateral and selective application of international law rules must be avoided. Sri Lanka had always advocated the settlement of internal and global dispute through negotiation, mediation and other peaceful means. Countries must be allowed to create their own local mechanisms to consolidate peace, encourage reconciliation and strengthen democratic institutions. They must have the much-needed space to begin that restorative process. In such situations, the Organization could address the gaps, taking into account local sensitivities,” he said.

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