In the wake of Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana’s assertion that the Constitution did not provide for hybrid courts, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) yesterday asked as to why the government committed itself to a course of action contrary to the Constitution by co-sponsoring the resolution in 2015.
Addressing a press conference, SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris, who is also the former External Affairs Minister, said the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for a hybrid court with the participation of international judicial personnel.
“Mr. Marapana said such a judicial mechanism was impossible because it was against the Constitution. Why did the same government then commit itself to an unconstitutional course of action? Everything stems from that. The United States brought in resolutions on Sri Lanka in 2012, 2013 and 2014. It is a country with resident missions in all UNHRC Member States, but could garner only 12 votes in favour of its 2012 resolution – 12 countries voted against and another 12 abstained,” he said.
He said the government could have brought an amendment to the resolution, had it lobbied the Member States appropriately. “There is a different worldview of the US under President Donald Trump, but Sri Lanka has not even appointed an ambassador to that country for two years,” he said.