By Kelum Bandara
The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said yesterday the Government would incorporate provisions in the proposed new Constitution to give legal protection for war heroes.
SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris told the regular weekly press conference that the United Kingdom which moved the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka had enacted a piece of legislation to protect its military personnel from criminal prosecution not only on its soil but also outside the country.
He was referring to the law titled ‘The Overseas Operation (Service Personnel and Veterans)’ which was passed in September, 2020 by the House of Commons. As per the Ministry of Defence of the UK, the Bill purports to raise a bar against prosecutions of service personnel and veterans in relations to historical events occurred during overseas military operations and to confer a duty on the Secretary of State to consider derogating from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) ahead of military operations abroad.
Prof. Peiris said the Sri Lankan Government would not hesitate to enact such a law in the country to protect war heroes. Also, he said the Government would enact constitutional provisions for sure in this regard. He made these remarks ahead of the vote on the resolution on Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The resolution has been brought by the core group of countries led by the UK. Sri Lanka has rejected the resolution which calls for a probe into the alleged human rights violations and accountability issues.
Prof. Peiris said 40 countries had signed the resolution as co-sponsors and additional co-sponsors, and almost all of them were from North America or Western Europe. He said no country from Asia had signed it.
“From the African region, there is only one country that has signed it. It means this is no longer a global issue,” he said.
He said the resolution had not been brought on the principles of justice or merits.
*** 40 countries had signed the resolution as co-sponsors and additional co-sponsors, and almost all of them were from North America or Western Europe
- The resolution had not been brought on the principles of justice or merits