February 13, 2016 03:24 pm
The United Nations will not force Sri Lanka to accept a role for international judges in investigating allegations of human rights violations during the war but any process must be impartial and independent, the U.N. human rights chief said.
“We are not forcing anything on the government of Sri Lanka,” High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told Reuters. “The president has stated his preference, his position. We have stated our preference.”
“I hope there will be a very comprehensive process and out of that we will see what final shape this mechanism will be. From our perspective it’s the victims who have the final say.”
“If whatever Sri Lanka decides upon has the support of the victims on all sides, that is okay with us. If the mechanism is impartial and independent that is okay with us,” he was quoted as saying during an interview with Reuters in Colombo.
“But if the government can convince them that they have the right mechanism, then this is something we support.”
“Our preference was initially and our preference still is a hybrid type mechanism with international participation,” he added.
Zeid ended a four-day visit to Sri Lanka to assess the investigation and had commended some efforts by President Maithripala Sirisena’s government but said much still needed to be done.