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Sri Lanka Equity Forum » Political and Socio-Economic Analysis » Sri Lanka Opposition candidate says he will not subject Mahinda Rajapaksa to war crimes probe

Sri Lanka Opposition candidate says he will not subject Mahinda Rajapaksa to war crimes probe

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Sri Lanka's main presidential opposition candidate on Friday said he would not allow an international war crimes prosecution against incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa or army personnel if he is voted to power.

Maithripala Sirisena, the opposition challenger to the incumbent Rajapaksa in the January 8 election told reporters that he would not allow any Sri Lankan to be hauled before a war crime investigation.

Sirisena said he would rely on the findings of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) which has called for a reliable domestic investigation into alleged war crimes during the last phase of the military conflict.

"I will not allow President Rajapakse, his family or any member of our armed forces to be taken before any international war crimes tribunal," Sirisena said. The LLRC appointed by Rajapaksa has been seen by the UN Human Rights Council as inadequate mechanism. Sirisena, Rajapaksa's Health Minister until last week is the opposition's main challenger against Rajapaksa's bid to seek a third term.

The government in order to discourage the majority of Buddhists from voting for Sirisena has accused the opposition coalition of trying to defeat Rajapaksa in order to haul him before a war crimes investigation.

Rajapaksa resisted the UNHRC investigation claiming it was an attack against Sri Lanka's sovereignty. The UNHRC resolution had alleged war crimes blamed on both government troops and LTTE rebels during the final phase of the three-decade civil war.

The UN says 30,000 people were killed towards the end of the ethnic conflict in 2009 when the LTTE was finally crushed.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-sri-lanka-opposition-candidate-says-he-will-not-subject-mahinda-rajapaksa-to-war-crimes-probe-2039318

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Sri Lanka opposition presidential candidate vows to protect President and security forces from war crime charges
Fri, Nov 28, 2014, 11:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.


Nov 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka's common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena vowed to oppose any move by anyone to haul the Sri Lankan leaders or security forces to an International Court on war crime charges.

Addressing a media briefing convened by the common opposition in Colombo today, Sirisena stated that he will not allow the international community or the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora to carry out an international war crime probe on the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his family or the security forces who freed the country from terrorism if he becomes the President.

In response to a statement made by the Tamil diaspora that if President Rajapaksa lost the presidency he will be taken to an international court on war crime charges, the opposition candidate said that he will never give any chance to the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora for such a move.

"I want to say very clearly that I will not allow the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora or the international forces to try President Mahinda Rajapaksa, or any of his family members, or the security forces, who fought against the LTTE terrorism in this country and made sacrifices, before an international war crime tribunal."

He further said that Sri Lanka is not a signatory to any international war crime tribunal and therefore hauling anyone before the International Criminal Court (ICC) cannot be done.

The opposition candidate pledged to protect the President and his Family and the security forces commanders and "- members of the security forces.

"I clearly state that a government of ours will provide complete protection to the President, his family and the commanders of security forces and all "Rana Wiruvans" who fought the LTTE," the candidate said.

While noting that Sri Lanka is not under any obligation to assist the current UN probe into the alleged violations of human rights, the opposition candidate said he will continue the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

He also pledged to have a proper reconciliation plan to heal all divisions among various communities and to bring together all ethnic and religious groups in the country.

The candidate also promised to continue the relief measures the current government promised in the 2015 budget for the people. He said a government under him will continue with the development work the present government already started but at a one-third of the cost.

The opposition presidential campaign will commence on November 30 from Polonnaruwa, the common opposition presidential candidate said.

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