UN Sri Lanka tribunal will avoid ICC jurisdictional issues, says Boyle

The United Nations General Assembly (GA) must immediately establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Sri Lanka (ICTSL) as a "subsidiary organ" under U.N. Charter Article 22, and organized along the lines of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was established by the Security Council, said Professor Francis Boyle, an expert in International Law, while commenting on the appointment of Samantha Power as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and advocating that Ms Power should follow the leadership of Madeline Albright who spearheaded the setting up of the ICTY. This will avoid the jurisdictional hurdles in the ICC taking up criminal matters related to a non-signatory state, Boyle added.

Albright on the establishment of ICTY

The purpose of the ICTSL would be to investigate and prosecute Sri Lanka war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine–just as the ICTY did for the victims of international crimes committed by Serbia and the Milosevic Regime throughout the Balkans, Professor Boyle said.

According to Boyle, the establishment of ICTSL would provide some small degree of justice to the victims of Sri Lanka’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Tamil people in NorthEast–just as the ICTY has done in the Balkans. Furthermore, the establishment of ICTSL by the U.N. General Assembly would serve as a deterrent effect upon Sri Lanka’s polical leaders such as Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse, his sibling and Defense Secretary, Gothabaya Rajapakse, another brother and minister for Development, Basil Rajapakse, Military Commander Sarath Fonseka and other top generals that they will be prosecuted for their further infliction of international crimes upon the Tamils from the NorthEast of Sri Lanka, Professor Boyle said.

Behind the scenes of ICTY

Tamil political activists agreed that without such a deterrent, Sri Lanka will likely continue the cultural genocide including forced colonization, grabing land from Tamil civilians, and militarization of day-to-day life and engaging the military in civilian affairs.

"For the U.N. General Assembly to establish ICTSL could stop the further development of this momentum towards a regional if not global catastrophe," Boyle added.

"People need to understand that Power could push for an International Criminal Tribunal for Sri Lanka on the basis of UN Charter article 22 to be set up by the UN General Assembly, thus avoiding the jurisdictional problems with the International Criminal Court since Sri Lanka is not a party and it appears that China would veto any referral by the Security Council to the ICC," Boyle further said.

"The UN General Assembly could take the Statute for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and transform it into the Statute for the International Criminal Tribunal for Sri Lanka," Professor Boyle said.

Francis A. Boyle is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School. He has advised numerous international bodies in the areas of human rights, war crimes, genocide, nuclear policy, and bio warfare. He received a PHD in political science from Harvard University.

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