I. Introduction

In post-conflict societies, transitional justice measures are sometimes utilized to address the root causes of violence and to consolidate democracy and the rule of law. Transitional justice measures include truth commissions, prosecutions, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence such as vetting, lustration and institutional reforms.

Prosecutions of those responsible for grave crimes under international law are often the most controversial of all transitional justice measures. This is because prosecutions often target those—in the military or in the government—who retain a measure of formal or informal political power and may therefore jeopardize democratic processes.1 In addition, some scholars also argue that prosecutions may generate new grievances among the population and fuel further conflicts.2

However, another school of thought recognizes that prosecutions tend to erode popular support for actors and institutions responsible for mass human rights violations. This in turn, strengthens a new regime’s commitment to break from the past.3 In addition, recent scholarship and UN literature emphasize that prosecutions for grave human rights violations are instrumental in restoring citizens’ trust in state institutions.4 On the contrary, foregoing prosecutions may “contribute to a short-lived experiment with democracy and peace.”5

Thus, while some early scholarship on transitional justice believed peace and justice to be mutually incompatible goals, the overwhelming preponderance of recent scholarship recognizes that a measure of justice is essential for long-lasting peace, democratic reforms and the consolidation of the rule of law. The question therefore is no longer whether to embark on prosecutorial policies but when and how to do so, with the objective of strengthening peace building and nation building efforts. As explained by the UN Secretary-General, “justice, peace and democracy are not mutually exclusive objectives, but rather mutually reinforcing imperatives. Advancing all three in fragile post-conflict settings requires strategic planning, careful integration and sensible sequencing of activities.”6 In instances where there are significant political barriers to prosecutions, delaying the implementation of accountability measures may be inevitable. However, as experiences in Latin American countries have shown, accountability can eventually be achieved through relentlessly exploiting opportunities for justice while also strengthening democracy. In this context, sequencing refers to strategies that aim to advance justice, peace and democracy through the timely implementation of various transitional justice measures.7

In several Latin American countries, truth-seeking endeavours are believed to have laid the ground for prosecutions that took place several years later. While conditions in Latin America may have required a “truth first, justice later” approach, this is not necessarily a uniform global experience. In fact, countries experience different types of transitions and face diverse challenges in the implementation of transitional justice measures. Therefore, sequencing is context-dependent and the “truth first, justice later” approach is not a necessary condition to achieve accountability. In fact, recent examples suggest that this approach may even be harmful to the goal it seeks to pursue. We argue that Sri Lanka is one of these examples.

II. Sequencing Truth Commissions and Trials: Global Experience

Recent scholarship on sequencing recognizes that the goals of transitional justice—including those of consolidating peace, achieving reconciliation, and strengthening the rule of law—are better achieved through the intervention of multiple institutions and the pursuit of different strategies. Criminal prosecutions and the establishment of truth commissions are often regarded as instrumental to achieving these goals.8 States have opted for various sequencing arrangements in the pursuit of truth and justice. While some countries have led their transitional justice process with a truth commission, others have chosen to hold trials against alleged perpetrators first. Some countries have also established both types of institutions and carried out truth-seeking and criminal proceedings simultaneously.

As the various comparative experiences show, the decision to adopt a specific sequencing approach is highly dependent on the political, social and legal factors at play in a society after the transition. As Samuel Huntington notes, the relative strength of a new government and the nature of the transition are, inter alia, two key factors that shape the sequencing choices.9 For instance, the sequencing approach may differ in situations where the regime change was triggered by popular demand and in situations where the transition is the result of a negotiated agreement. Other factors may also be taken into account including social and political dynamics as well as victims’ priorities. Based on these factors, three main sequencing approaches may be identified where countries choose to implement truth commissions as well as trials; the “truth first, justice later” approach, the “trials first, truth later” approach, or the “truth and justice in a tandem” approach.

1. “Truth First, Justice Later” Approach

Scholars argue that the “truth first, justice later” approach may be instrumental in building support for a broader set of transitional justice measures including trials.10 This is because official truth telling and state acknowledgment of the official narrative may contribute to changing public perception and to decreasing resistance to accountability measures. Such strategies are crucial in countries with deep political barriers to accountability.

a. Rationale for the “Truth First, Justice Later” Approach

By providing a comprehensive account of past abuses and violations and establishing responsibilities for these abuses, truth commissions could generate support for accountability processes and weaken support for those responsible for these abuses. This has been the experience in some Latin American countries.

In Chile, when Pinochet’s dictatorship came to an end in 1980, the political and legal environment did not permit trials. In 1973, the economic crisis and social unrest laid the ground for Pinochet’s military coup.11 Over the years, Pinochet secured power by building a state apparatus that pledged allegiance to him.12 This support remained even after the democratic transition almost a decade later, in particular amongst the judiciary and the military.13 This hampered the newly elected government’s ability to address past atrocities. In addition, amnesty laws passed in 1978—only two years before Pinochet lost power—formally prevented prosecutions. Further, Pinochet himself was protected from prosecutions consequent to being appointed Senator for life.

Assuming power in this situation, President Aylwin decided to establish the 1990–1991 National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation. The Commission investigated inter alia the disappearances, executions and torture committed during the previous regime.14 Its final report was released in 1991. Over 95% of the human rights violations were attributed to state agents.15 The Commission’s findings contributed to an increased awareness in the society of the atrocities committed by the past regime. Polls conducted after the release of the report showed that more people were in favour of perpetrators being brought to justice than before the release of the report.16

Experiences from other countries also suggest that publicizing the findings of truth commissions could contribute to moulding people’s perceptions of trials and other accountability measures. In Peru, the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation (CVR) helped the public comprehend the extent and seriousness of crimes committed by the State. The report challenged the narrative promulgated by the Fujimori regime that torture and murder were necessary to win the war.17 The Commission’s findings were received favourably by an estimated 48% of the population and allowed human rights groups the space to promote the CVR’s recommendations and monitor their implementation.18

Similarly, in Argentina, the publication of the final report of the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP) contributed to laying the ground for trials. CONADEP was established to clarify the fate of the people who disappeared during Argentina’s 17-year military rule.19 The Commission released its report in 1984 and accounted for approximately 30,000 disappearances that took place between 1976 and 1983.20 The government took the initiative to publish a book-length version of the findings. The book Nunca Mas became an immediate best seller.21 It brought to public knowledge an unambiguous account of the systematic human rights violations and paved the way for the prosecution of nine military officers in 1985.

b. Conditions for a Successful “Truth First, Justice Later” Approach

Truth commissions may help overcome initial resistance to prosecutions. They may achieve this by building a collective memory that includes, on the one hand, the brutal ways in which the crimes were committed and, on the other, the pain and suffering of victims. This collective memory, in time, helps society understand the true cost of repression and violence, shame perpetrators and weaken public resistance to accountability. However, the mere fact that a truth commission is established does not bring about this change of perception. As scholars point out, two factors are essential for truth commissions to be successful in building support for accountability: first, state endorsement of the findings and public access to the report; and second, the passage of time.22 Further, while acknowledging the work of truth commissions in building institutional and sometimes public support for trials in the Latin American region, the significant role of continued activism from human rights groups seeking to overturn amnesty laws through various legal avenues must also be noted.

i. Governmental and Public Support

Scholarly writing suggests that there is a correlation between active promotion of a truth commission report by the state and acceptance of its findings by the public.23 This is because a state’s endorsement gives legitimacy to the truth commission’s findings. Without state support, the public may regard victims’ testimonies as baseless allegations and may not relate to the pressing need to address their grievances. Worse, the public may never access information and proceedings relating to the truth commission.

In Argentina, the Truth Commission’s report was widely publicized. The government printed the report in abridged versions and ensured widespread dissemination.24 It also took steps to make a documentary of the preliminary findings of the Commission and aired it on television.25 This contributed significantly to changing public perception of trials and, one year after the release of the Commission’s report, Argentina was able to prosecute nine high-level military officials.26 While the process subsequently stalled, the government’s endorsement of the commission’s findings greatly contributed to the initial momentum.

In contrast, Chile took significantly more time than Argentina to begin prosecuting alleged crimes committed during the dictatorship. While the commission’s report received the support of the President,27 the Chilean judiciary and the army strongly rejected it as “an absurd critique tinged with political passions.”28 As a result of this opposition, the government could not take measures to give wide publicity to the report. Relatively few copies of the report were printed, and public awareness of the findings remained low.29 In addition, several political tactics used by the pro-Pinochet camp managed to divert people’s attention away from the report. Shortly after the report was released, three people who had closely worked with Pinochet were assassinated.30 The pro-Pinochet camp alleged that left wing politicians were responsible for these assassinations and used the media to highlight these killings.31 Extensive media coverage of Pinochet attending the funeral blunted the report’s impact.32 Although the report led to an extensive reparation scheme, due to lack of publicity and government’s endorsement, it had little impact on anti-impunity measures until 1998 when Pinochet was arrested in London.33

Similarly in Peru, despite an initially positive reception of the Commission’s findings amongst the public, two factors undermined the long term impact of the report. First, the government lacked the political will to widely disseminate the findings and to initiate a genuine public debate on the basis of the report.34 Second, the work of the Commission received little media coverage.35

As the situations in Chile and Peru illustrate, absent effective media coverage and unequivocal endorsement of a commission’s findings by the government, the public may remain unconvinced of the value of truth commission’s findings and of the importance of accountability measures to address atrocities committed in the past.

ii. Passage of Time

The passage of time is also a critical factor in enabling truth commissions to successfully lay the ground for trials. Even in cases where a State endorses the narrative established by truth commissions, and where the public reception of the report is relatively favourable, the required societal and political changes only materialize with the effluxion of time. First, while a truth commission’s report may generate a sustained demand for justice, a confluence of factors is required for this demand to eventually erode political barriers to accountability. These factors—including judicial awakening, international sanctions, and political and economic changes— can only materialize over time. Second, where there is significant support for perpetrator groups, society takes time to fully accept a truth commission’s findings and to see the need for accountability for past abuses. In fact, those who supported the regime or group allegedly responsible for mass human rights violations have to come to terms with the fact that this group or regime committed violations in their name or to advance a project in which they reposed faith. In addition, those who went as far as supporting the violations because the “end justifies the means” have to undertake a process of introspection to accept that they too bear a moral responsibility for these violations. These changes of perception and attitudes often take years, if not decades, to materialize.

Examples in Latin America illustrate this point. For instance, Chile took nearly eight years to initiate trials following the publication of the Truth Commission’s report. Although Argentina proceeded to try perpetrators soon after the Commission concluded its work, the process stalled on account of pressure from the military and it was only in 2003 that proceedings resumed in earnest.36

iii. Legal Activism

While by all accounts truth commissions played a role in the Latin American region to build support for prosecutions, trials for serious crimes would not have been possible if narrow windows of opportunity were not fully exploited, based on a civil society strategy of relentlessly pursuing justice despite prevalent barriers. Thus, the pursuit of universal jurisdiction cases in countries like Spain and the filing of cases before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights were instrumental in overcoming amnesty laws in these countries.

For instance, in 1996, a group of activists filed a case in Spain against the Argentinean military junta for committing genocide, terrorism, and enforced disappearances.37 The same year, a Spanish lawyers’ association filed charges in Spain against former Chilean military leaders including Pinochet for crimes allegedly committed during Pinochet’s time in office.38 To proceed with the trials, the Spanish Courts issued extradition requests, using the Chilean Truth Commission’s report in support. This eventually led to Pinochet’s arrest and protracted house arrest in London.39 This episode triggered a heated public debate in Chile about the Chilean judiciary’s apathy, opening the door to subsequent trials.

At the same period, the legality of amnesty laws in several Latin American countries was disputed by the Inter-American Court in a number of emblematic cases.40 The Court held that amnesty laws in Chile and in Peru were incompatible with several provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights. In light of this and other considerations, the Court declared amnesty laws devoid of legal effect. These rulings were instrumental in overcoming amnesty laws not only in Peru and Chile but also in Argentina where the Supreme Court ruling on the unconstitutionality of amnesty laws drew heavily from the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court.41

Pinochet’s arrest on a Spanish arrest warrant, the Inter-American Court’s jurisprudence on amnesty laws, as well as public pressure on the basis of truth commissions’ reports finally created the conditions necessary to initiate trials. In 1998—after years of impunity—the Communist party lodged the first complaint against Pinochet in the Chilean courts. In 2006, the Chilean Supreme Court ruled that the amnesty decreed by the military government in 1978 was inapplicable to war crimes or crimes against humanity.42 By 2009, 779 former officials had been charged and over 200 had been convicted of committing human rights violations.43

In 2001, the Argentine judiciary held that the Full Stop Law and the Due Obedience Law were unconstitutional,44 which was later upheld by the Supreme Court of Argentina.45 The series of amnesty laws were formally repealed in 2003 and trials were initiated against nearly 700 persons.46

In 2009, the former president of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, was tried and found guilty of crimes against humanity and corruption, and was sentenced to life imprisonment.47

2. Alternatives to the “Truth First, Justice Later” Approach

In Latin America, where there were real political barriers to accountability, any political space or opening was fully exploited to pursue justice when it presented itself. In this context, the truth commissions’ work contributed to building support for accountability. However, we argue that in situations where there are no legal and political barriers to prosecutions, the “truth first, justice later” approach is unnecessary or may even be detrimental to the pursuit of justice. In light of this, many countries have opted for alternatives to the “truth first, justice later” approach by either carrying out trials and truth commissions’ proceedings in tandem or by conducting trials first and establishing a truth commission subsequently.

a. Truth and Justice: In Tandem

Some have argued that the “truth first, justice later” approach remains preferable even in the absence of significant political barriers to trials. This is because truth commission’s findings may feed into the “relevant criminal justice mechanism to make better-informed decisions about whom to try and for what crimes.”48 However, this is not necessarily the case. In some situations, prosecutions and extra-judicial truth-seeking endeavours are pursued jointly with equal success. In other situations, trials have preceded the establishment of a truth commission.

Sierra Leone is one example that challenges the relevance of the “truth first, justice later” approach. Pursuant to the 1999 Lomé Accords, the country established its Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC) in 2002. The same year, President Kabbah sought help from the UN to establish a Special Court (SCSL).49 By implementing trials and the truth commission’s proceedings simultaneously in a context of political volatility, Sierra Leone demonstrated that political instability is not always an obstacle to accountability.50 In fact, the Sierra Leonean experience proves that limited opportunities available within a country may be exploited to achieve justice; provided some political will exists.

While there was some scepticism about the SCSL’s and the TRC’s capacity to work together, in hindsight, the model appears to have been successful in achieving some measure of justice.51 The Truth Commission carried out its mandate in identifying the root causes of the conflict and made recommendations to prevent repetition.52 It provided a platform for victims to share their versions of the story. On the other hand, the Special Court gathered evidence relating to crimes committed during the armed conflict and swiftly prepared to hold trials. Just one year after establishment, the Prosecutor brought thirteen indictments against individuals allegedly responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.53 Among them, the indictment of then-serving Liberian President, Charles Taylor, and the Sierra Leone Internal Affairs Minister, Hinga Norman were significant achievements. The trials sent a powerful message against impunity to society.54 At the same time, it dispelled the popular belief that justice must be compromised in order to achieve stability.

Timor-Leste offers yet another example where trials and truth commission’s proceedings were carried out in tandem. In 2000 and 2001 respectively, Timor-Leste established the Special Panels and a Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) to look into crimes committed in Timor-Leste during its conflict with Indonesia.55 The Special Panels brought a total of 95 indictments against 391 individuals and 87 received final verdicts.56 This is a remarkable achievement given the fragility of state institutions at the time. While transitional justice mechanisms were taking shape, the state in Timor-Leste itself was in its formative stages as the country’s infrastructure, including its courts, prisons, and schools, had been completely destroyed as a result of the scorched earth policy employed by militias. Timor-Leste’s serving judges, prosecutors, and the majority of the lawyers and the court staff were Indonesians who left Timor-Leste after its independence. As a result, United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) established a provisional administration which helped Timor-Leste to implement trials.

The interactive relationship between the Special Panels and the CAVR may have contributed to the relative success of the process and the high number of prosecutions.57 In contrast to Sierra Leone—where the TRC and SCSL functioned in separate and water tight compartments in the transitional justice process—the Special Panels and CAVR had a rather more complementary relationship. One of CAVR’s assigned tasks was to facilitate community-level reconciliation. It mediated between victims and low-level perpetrators to reach agreements involving non-penal accountability measures.58 This left the most serious criminal cases to be investigated by the Special Panels. The division of labour between the two institutions helped Timor-Leste achieve a measure of accountability.59

More recent examples include the transitional justice processes in Colombia, the Central African Republic, and Côte d’Ivoire, where the respective governments are currently pursuing a truth and justice in tandem approach. In both Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic, justice initiatives at both the international and national level have been prioritized as strongly, if not more so, than truth-seeking initiatives in spite of tremendous political hurdles in each setting.60 In Colombia, judicial processes have been seen as complementary to truth-seeking functions.61 Further, the narrow rejection by referendum of the most recent Colombia peace agreement, largely on the basis of the general population’s rejection of amnesty provisions contained in the agreement, also suggests the growing importance placed on justice mechanisms alongside, if not prior to, truth-seeking mechanisms among general populations in transitional societies.62 Thus, in certain contexts, trials and truth commissions can and do work in tandem to advance a comprehensive anti-impunity agenda and foster reconciliation.

b. “Trials First, Truth Later” Approach

South Korea is one of the rare cases where high profile trials were held prior to the establishment of truth commissions. Between 1948 and 1988, South Korea was ruled by three autocratic regimes.63 During this time, the State was responsible for the perpetration of mass human rights violations. The height of oppression came in 1980 when Chun Doo-Hwan—then President—brutally crushed a protest in Gwangju, killing nearly 600 people. The government’s response to the Gwangju protest aroused mass condemnation among the public and fortified their desire for justice.64 However it took nearly 13 years before Korea’s autocratic rule came to an end and for its democratic transition to begin. Public pressure on the new government eventually led to the 1995-1996 trials, which convicted perpetrators, including Chun Doo Hwan, for crimes committed during his rule.

The Korean experience is significant because the government held trials against former government officials within two years of coming to power. A truth commission was not deemed necessary as a preliminary measure. Two factors may have played a role in this regard. First, there was no public demand for a truth commission. Second, the legacy of Gwangju was one of the government’s campaign platforms. Therefore, when the government came to power in 1993, it was compelled to deliver on its promise of the justice demanded by the public.65 The continued pressure from the public, combined with favourable political factors, created the conditions to hold trials without delay.66 It was only after perpetrators were tried that the government decided to establish a truth commission to build a historical narrative about the country’s violent past.67

Further, as explained above, more recent justice initiatives in transitional and post-conflict societies are not designed to be contingent on the operations or results of truth commissions.68 This enables trials to proceed even when truth commissions face roadblocks. The experience of transitional justice mechanisms in Aceh, Indonesia illustrates this point. In spite of ongoing hurdles to the establishment of the Aceh truth commission envisioned in the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding, the establishment and functioning of the Human Rights Court, which was conceived at the same time as the truth commission and aimed at curtailing ongoing human rights abuses in the region, has proceeded, albeit slowly.69

One of the benefits of the “trials first, truth later” model is that it entrenches the rule of law immediately after the transition “by reaffirming that society will henceforth be governed by laws, the violation of which will have consequences.”70 In addition, the elimination of perpetrators from political power at the very outset increases prospects for a successful transition and ensures that those most responsible for mass atrocity crimes are no longer in a position to stall progress on reforming the state in the long-run, this can help restore a society’s and the victims’ confidence in state institutions and provide assurances that there will be a clear break from the past.71

3. Drawbacks to the “Truth First, Justice Later” Approach

Initially, the “truth first, justice later” approach was an inevitable experiment in an attempt to overcome legal and political barriers preventing justice. However, following the examples of South American countries, this approach has acquired firm believers. As a result, post-conflict countries are often encouraged to adopt this formula, irrespective of the actual political situation in which they find themselves. This is a dangerous path to take. In fact, recent examples demonstrate that this approach is used as a way to delay or permanently stall the pursuit of justice.

a. Confusing Political Will with Political Barriers

Evidence suggests that some countries prioritize truth commissions over trials citing legal and political barriers to accountability when in fact the real problem is one of political unwillingness to pursue justice despite the availability of political space. In fact, governments have sometimes admitted their willingness to set up truth commissions in an attempt to avoid trials. For example, in Guatemala, at the time of the peace agreement between the armed forces and rebel groups, Mario Enriquez, then minister of defence, stated that “we are fully in support of a truth commission...Just like in Chile: truth, but no trials.”72 As Hayner notes, many other governments have understood, hoped, or agreed that a truth commission should take the place of trials. These include, but are not limited to, Sierra Leone (1999), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2002), and Liberia (2003).73

It is important to distinguish at the outset legal and political barriers from legal and political challenges. In most cases, initiating prosecutions requires the expenditure of political capital and the exertion of political will.74 On the other hand, political barriers are obstacles that require more than the mere expenditure of political capital by a government. Political barriers are those that would threaten the life of the nation or a reformist government itself and are beyond its control. This is the case for instance when powerful actors opposed to accountability retain significant formal or informal power and therefore pose a credible threat to the stability of the new government. Countries in transition always face political challenges to transitional justice to varying degrees. However, only a few experience political and legal barriers to accountability. These may require the adoption of a “truth first, justice later” approach, which may not be necessary to overcome mere political challenges.

El Salvador is one such example where the government’s lack of political will resulted in the stalling of accountability measures.75 El Salvador’s Truth Commission emerged as part of the UN-brokered peace agreement, which ended a 12 year civil war between El Salvador security forces and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).76 In the peace agreement, the parties recognized, inter alia, the need to address human rights violations committed during the war.77 However, the government was reluctant to enact criminal accountability measures.78 Instead a truth commission was established under the peace agreement. As commentators point out, establishing the Truth Commission did not exclude the possibility of holding trials.79 However, due to political unwillingness, the government never exploited this possibility to hold trials against alleged perpetrators.80

The Truth Commission established under the peace agreement was mandated to investigate “serious acts of violence that have occurred since 1980,” and recommend legal, political, and administrative measures to address them.81 The Commission’s report released in 1993 included inter alia the names of over forty high officials responsible for serious abuses.82 However, throughout the truth-seeking process, the government adopted an ostensible anti-accountability attitude. Subsequently, the government attempted to block the release of the report.83 Once the report was released, it was strongly rejected by almost all actors in government including the President.84 Moreover, just five days after releasing the report, the government responded to the Commission’s findings by passing an amnesty law.85 The timing of the law sent a clear message about the government’s intention to shield all perpetrators from punishment including the ones identified in the report.86 Even more damaging was the manner in which the government belittled truth and justice as values that should be protected in society. Commentators argue that the government introduced the Truth Commission to appease victims and the international community and dispel pressure to hold trials.87 Nearly 20 years after the release of the report, little progress has been made on the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations; no reparations programs have been established and very few institutional reforms have been undertaken.88

While in El Salvador, the use of the Truth Commission to divert the pressure on accountability was blatant; in many cases truth commissions serve an anti-accountability agenda in a more subtle manner. This is especially the case when they are used as a delaying tactic.

b. Using Sequencing as a Delaying Tactic

In several countries, carrying out truth commissions’ proceedings before trials may diminish prospects of prosecutions. This is because prolonged truth commissions’ proceedings may exhaust political capital until the window of opportunity for prosecutions eventually closes. In some cases, this is used as a strategy to permanently delay trials. Such a strategy demoralizes those who are engaged in the truth-seeking process and diminishes public interest in the transitional justice project. For instance, in Uganda, the Truth Commission severely lacked resources and had to suspend its work on several occasions.89 It operated for eight years before concluding its mandate.

The Ugandan government led by Museveni came into power in 1986, ending many years of political repression. The government promised to institute various democratic guarantees, including redress for past grievances. In 1986, the Ugandan Commission of Inquiry was established to look into violations of human rights. However, the mandate, staffing and subsequent incidents surrounding the Commission evidenced the government’s lack of political will to live up to its initial commitment. The government gave the Commission a broad mandate90 but did not set any deadline for the completion of its work.91 Extreme resource constraints forced the commissioners to work part time.92 On many occasions, the Commission had to suspend its work due to a lack of funding.93 As a result, public interest in the truth-seeking endeavour decreased drastically. When the Commission eventually completed its mandate after eight years, the government did not publicize the findings.94 It also ignored the recommendations made in the report.95 The lack of public interest in the process meant that there was little to no pressure on the government to either hold trials or implement the recommendations of the Commission.96

The Ugandan example illustrates the dangers of the “truth first, justice later” approach. When the new Ugandan government came to power, the former regime had lost its popularity and credibility.97 Thus, there were no apparent political barriers to accountability. In such a context, the “truth first justice later” approach must be questioned. In fact, by choosing to adopt that approach, the government prematurely blocked a faster track to trials. Subsequently, fighting resumed between the government and the rebels and the window of opportunity for trials closed until 2006, when the peace agreement between the parties was signed. However the government took no concrete steps to end the culture of impunity in the country.98

c. Institutionalizing an Anti-Accountability Approach

When governments have no genuine intention to initiate prosecutions for atrocity crimes but nonetheless establish a truth commission, the latter may be used to create institutional obstacles to accountability. Nepal provides an example in this respect.

In Nepal, an Ordinance to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Nepalese TRC) was enacted in 2013.99 The law was heavily criticized by the international community including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The OHCHR pointed out that the Nepalese TRC Ordinance did not conform to Nepal’s international legal obligations, as it allowed for amnesty for gross violations of human rights committed during the course of armed conflict.100 Subsequently, the Ordinance was struck down in part by the Supreme Court in January 2014. In its judgment, the Court directed the government to redraft a new law, which would exclude the possibility of amnesty for serious human rights violations.101

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the government formed a team of experts and drafted a new bill. The new bill—The Commission on Investigation of Disappeared Persons, Truth and Reconciliation—received Parliament’s approval and became law in 2014.102 While the new Act remedied some inadequacies found in the 2013 Ordinance, it still falls short of international legal standards in some respects. In particular, it continues to allow for amnesties for gross violations of human rights.103 The Act provides that the Commission may make recommendations for amnesty in cases other than rape or offences of a “grave nature”.104 However, this provision does not specify which offences should be considered sufficiently grave to exclude the possibility of an amnesty. In addition, the law provides that even in cases involving “offences of grave nature,” the Commission may find grounds or reasons to grant amnesty.105 Another problematic aspect relates to the power of the Commission to bring about reconciliation between victims and perpetrators, possibly without the consent of one of the parties involved.106

In addition, some provisions also evidence attempts to introduce additional obstacles to prosecutions. The Nepalese TRC is intended to operate as an initial forum for all conflict related complaints. It is responsible for deciding which individuals should be considered for amnesty or for prosecutions. Where prosecution is recommended, the Commission must communicate its recommendation to the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, which in turn must inform the Attorney General.107 It is only if the Attorney General decides to proceed with prosecutions that a case will be filed at the—yet to be formed—Special Court. However, it remains unclear whether cases recommended by the TRC will fall exclusively within the remit of the Special Court. If this were to be the case, no prosecutions could take place pending the creation of the Special Court.

As the various examples studied demonstrate, efforts to bring about accountability must reflect the political context of each country. A “one size fits all” sequencing approach following the “truth first, justice later” model tends to ignore this reality. Each country has its own window of opportunity in which the political space to initiate reforms necessary for accountability may be taken forward. These opportunities must be seized. A dogmatic approach to sequencing could fatally undermine prospects for justice. This is the danger that the Sri Lankan transitional justice process currently faces.

III. Sequencing Truth and Justice: Way Forward for Sri Lanka

As we argue in this paper, a “truth first, justice later” approach is fundamentally ill-suited to current conditions in Sri Lanka. Instead, the government should capitalize on the existing political opportunity to establish a special court with a special prosecutor’s office with the promised levels of international participation without delay.

We base these arguments on an assessment of the existing political context. Although establishing such a court would require the expenditure of political capital, there are currently no barriers to justice such as those described in Part II. In particular, Sri Lanka does not face the risk of an imminent military coup and does not have any existing amnesty laws. On the contrary, the government has already publicly committed itself to establishing a special court with international participation. Sri Lanka’s past experience with commissions of inquiry also lends weight to the argument that the government should pursue an alternative approach to the “truth first, justice later” approach. This history must also be taken into account when assessing the relevance of any given sequencing approach.

1. “Truth First Justice Later:” An Unpopular Option in a Narrow Window of Opportunity

In Sri Lanka, while victims and human rights organizations have campaigned fiercely for justice for atrocity crimes stemming from the armed conflict, calls for a truth commission have been notably absent. Disappointing experiences with past commissions of inquiry partially explain the lack of faith in purely truth-seeking mechanisms.

a. No Public Demand for a Truth Commission

A number of reasons may explain the disinterest in non-judicial truth-seeking mechanisms, including: victims’ fatigue with previous commissions of inquiry; mistrust of the intention behind establishing a truth commission; the fear of retraumatising victims and witnesses who have been compelled to provide evidence at a number of previous truth-seeking initiatives; and a legitimate fear among victim communities and civil society that a truth commission would undermine measures of accountability. This apathy vis-à-vis truth-seeking commissions is in stark contrast with the demands for criminal prosecutions and for an institution dedicated to tracing missing persons. In particular, over the years, activists have consistently highlighted the entrenched impunity in Sri Lanka in reports and submissions to international fora.108 Many of these submissions formulate demands for prosecutions and to ascertain the fate of missing persons. These demands have received further support from several reports by international NGOs, which have identified the need for accountability in Sri Lanka.109 Notably, the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) also specifically recommended a hybrid special court and an institution to trace missing persons, but did not recommend the establishment of a truth commission.110

The idea of establishing a truth commission, though periodically discussed over a long period in Sri Lanka, was intensely pursued by the Rajapaksa administration in an apparent attempt to halt international pressure for accountability of wide-scale abuses.111 The truth commission was to be based on the South African model on which the then government consulted the South African government in earnest.112 However, when the new government came into power it revived the idea of such a truth commission while also promising several other mechanisms including a special court.

Admittedly, the lack of public demand does not itself discount the value of a truth commission. However, prevalent sentiment among victim groups and civil society regarding a truth commission is an important consideration when attempting to gauge the potential impact of such a mechanism. The origination of the idea and the disappointing experiences victim communities and civil society have had with past commissions explain the low expectations with respect to a new commission tasked with investigating war-time abuses.

Further, while the current political context may be more conducive to genuine truth-seeking endeavours than under the previous regime, many of the conditions that limited the impact of truth-seeking in the past persist. It therefore seems highly unlikely that a future truth commission, without simultaneous accountability measures, will be viewed as anything other than a weak institution designed to impede justice.

b. A Well-founded Scepticism

Sri Lanka has witnessed a proliferation of state and non-state led truth-seeking initiatives, including various commissions of inquiry established by the President of Sri Lanka, various UN mandated investigations, as well as other investigations led by civil society.

Between 1980 and 1990, successive governments appointed a series of commissions to investigate human rights violations and enforced disappearances. These include the Presidential TRC on Ethnic Violence (1981-1984), the Presidential Commissions (1991-1993), the 1994 Commissions of Inquiry into Disappearances and the 1998 All Island Disappearances Commission.113 More recently, the government established several other commissions to look into cases of extrajudicial killings and/or disappearances. In 2006, the Presidential Commission on the Disappeared (known as the Mahanama Tilakaratne Commission) was established to look into abductions, disappearances, unidentified dead bodies and unexplained killings.114 The same year, the Udalagama Commission was established to inquire into serious violations of human rights.115 In 2009, the government formed the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) primarily to determine political responsibilities for the failure of the ceasefire agreement that led to the final offensive of the Sri Lankan military.116 The LLRC also looked into allegations of gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law allegedly committed during the armed conflict. In 2013, the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons, otherwise known as the Paranagama Commission, was established.117 In addition, several UN investigations also conducted inquiries into gross human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Among them are the 2011 UN Panel of Experts118 and the 2015 OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka.119

However, despite the profusion of such bodies, impunity for human rights violations remained rampant in Sri Lanka during the armed conflict and in the post-conflict phase. Almost all of the commissions established domestically lacked the requisite independence and impartiality needed to conduct objective and complete investigations. For example, the commission members were chosen by the President and served at his pleasure. The work of these commissions has been the subject of criticism concerning victim’s intimidation, alteration of testimonies, and even tampering of evidence.120 These factors severely eroded the credibility with which the public viewed the work of each of the domestic commissions of inquiry. Even in situations where investigations were conducted, reports were not published.121 This inevitably accentuated a sense of futility among victims. In other cases where reports were published, the government neither took measures to implement the recommendations nor followed-up on the findings through criminal investigations.122

In contrast, the two UN investigations in respect of Sri Lanka were tailored to augment pressure and support in favour of accountability. For instance, the UN Expert Panel’s findings empowered victims’ representatives who used the report’s conclusions and recommendations to support their demand for criminal trials. In addition, the public release of the report and the fervent opposition of the government to its findings and recommendations triggered heated debates and opened hitherto absent public space to discuss alleged violations. Moreover, they galvanized international action, and in the case of the OISL Report, the government’s commitments on transitional justice.

For a truth-seeking exercise to create an environment conducive to prosecutions, several conditions must be met: first, the truth-seeking exercise must be independent, impartial, and executed in good faith; and second, it must receive some form of endorsement from the government. None of the previous truth-seeking exercises carried out in Sri Lanka fulfilled these two criteria cumulatively. As already explained, many national truth-seeking endeavours lacked independence and impartiality, which undermined their credibility. They deferred to governmental power and were cautious not to challenge the status quo. Where commissions were critical of state functionaries, the government refused to accept the findings and led political campaigns to denounce their work. The government’s response to UN truth-seeking initiatives illustrates this point.

However, as explained above, even if a future truth commission successfully meets these two conditions, a confluence of other external factors is also required for the truth commission to have a long lasting and deep societal impact and to lay the ground for trials. These include the wide dissemination of proceedings, findings and information regarding the report through media coverage and an endorsement of the findings by the government and by a range of political actors. There is no guarantee that these conditions will be met in Sri Lanka.

While space may exist for the creation of an independent truth commission, it would be unwise to assume that the commission’s findings would receive unequivocal endorsement by the government. In particular, in the event some actors within government are attempting to utilize the truth commission to deflect attention from accountability, it is most unlikely to invest in processes that would ensure such accountability in the long term. Absent a decisive course of action to ensure accountability, a truth commission’s findings implicating military officials in war crimes and crimes against humanity would be treated by various parties across the political spectrum as an inconvenient attempt to revive a defeated accountability agenda. Those within government most critical of accountability measures would be empowered, and reformists who insisted that accountability is essential would be weakened. In addition, some prominent political actors outside the government would, undoubtedly, protest vehemently against such findings. This distorted view, together with polarized media coverage, is likely to negatively influence public perception of the truth commission’s findings.

2. Truth First: Building Resistance to Truth and Accountability

While a truth commission’s findings may have been instrumental to building support for trials in some countries, we argue that, in Sri Lanka, the creation of a truth commission may heighten resistance to accountability. In fact, as will be shown below, if it is established before a special court, the truth commission is likely to be rejected by a number of relevant stakeholders: victims of crimes perpetrated by the state across all communities; the vast majority of the Tamil political and civil community; and human rights defenders. Paradoxically, the truth commission will likely be regarded as a stepping-stone for trials by those traditionally opposed to accountability and will also likely be opposed on that ground.

a. Resistance from Those Who Want Justice

First, those seeking to advance justice for atrocity crimes from within the Tamil polity and human rights defenders will in all likelihood reject a truth commission if it is not also accompanied by a special court. This position is supported by a number of human rights defenders and institutions all over the country. A public statement signed by a number of individuals and organizations, which was released in June 2016 stated:

“We have since heard of plans by the Government of Sri Lanka to establish a TRC and delay the establishment of the proposed accountability mechanism and the office of reparations. This betrays a deeply flawed approach to transitional justice and fails to appreciate and undermines the rights of victims to truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. Many Sri Lankan victims and members of civil society have consistently demanded that credible investigations be conducted and perpetrators held accountable with respect to credible allegations of human rights violations. Previous Commissions of Inquiries and the Criminal Justice system have only resulted in the acute retraumatisation of victims with little satisfaction in terms of justice and reparations. Moreover, the recommendations of these Commissions with respect to the investigation of human rights violations, and the prosecution of alleged perpetrators, have not been implemented, exacerbating Sri Lanka’s culture of impunity that these institutions are meant to combat. For these reasons, yet another commission established without a meaningful guarantee of accountability and reparations will signal a lack of commitment to the Government’s own commitments and to genuinely breaking with the past.”123

This position was reiterated in a subsequent statement.124 Given the disenchantment with truth-seeking commissions apparent in these civil society statements, the establishment of yet another such commission will likely alienate these constituencies who are crucial to the success of transitional justice mechanisms. Victims and those who firmly advocate for criminal accountability measures are likely to regard a “truth first, justice later” approach as another attempt to avoid credible prosecutions, and outright reject a truth commission established in pursuit of that objective. A truth commission without the support of those for whose ostensible benefit it is instituted will necessarily fail.

b. Resistance from Those Who Oppose Justice

Those who oppose accountability for violations allegedly committed during the armed conflict are also unlikely to support a truth commission or its findings even in the absence of trials. In fact, they are likely to oppose the truth commission on the basis that it could constitute a stepping-stone for trials. Opposition on this ground will be even stronger if the truth commission has a robust investigative mandate to compensate the absence of mechanisms specifically dealing with questions of criminal accountability. Political responses to the recent Office on Missing Persons (OMP) illustrate this point. As expected, the Bill establishing the OMP became widely unpopular among those who oppose accountability. The investigative mandate of the OMP and its robust investigative powers were portrayed as evidence that the Office will be instrumental to laying the ground for trials.125 This characterization indubitably resonated within certain sections of society. A truth commission is very likely to meet with the same or perhaps even greater resistance. Should this happen, the government will be required to justify and convince its constituency of the need to establish a truth commission. Such an effort will no doubt be time consuming and may even cost political capital that could otherwise be utilized to set up a special court.

Thus, a truth commission minus trials will not satisfy victims for whose ostensible benefit it will be established. For diametrically opposite reasons, the proposed truth commission will also likely be rejected by those opposed to trials. The truth commission will therefore be attacked on multiple fronts, undermining it from the very outset.

3. Making Use of a Narrow Political Window of Opportunity

While the change of government in January 2015 opened a window of opportunity for the establishment of a special court, this window is rapidly narrowing. The pursuit of a “truth first, justice later” approach may lead to the closing of this window before the establishment of a special court. In this respect, those within government who are opposed to criminal accountability may be tempted to use the truth commission as a delaying mechanism to indefinitely postpone the creation of a special court.

a. The Narrowing Political Window for a Special Court

We believe that there is an opportunity in the present context to enact legislation for trials. The political transition that took place in 2015 and the government’s decision to co-sponsor the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution have opened up space in the Sri Lankan political landscape to advance accountability. The adoption of UNHRC resolution 30/1, with government co-sponsorship, was historic.126 For the first time, Sri Lanka committed to extensive reforms to end impunity for human rights violations and to address the root causes of the armed conflict. Subsequent statements by the Foreign Minister confirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to see through the implementation of these commitments.127 A two-day parliamentary debate was organized in October 2015 to discuss the resolution, where it was overwhelmingly supported by politicians across the mainstream political spectrum.128

However, despite the government’s commitments to implement the UNHCR resolution, progress has been slow. Almost two years after the change of government, the report of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms is, at the time of publication of this paper, yet to be published.129 In addition, the government has made no attempt to build public support for the establishment of a special court.130 Troublingly, recent statements by the President indicate that the window of opportunity for reforms in Sri Lanka may be narrowing.131 In fact, the President has repeatedly assured the military that its interests will be protected.132 Statements of this nature have raised concerns domestically and internationally and have called into question government’s political will to pursue accountability.

Nevertheless, while the window of opportunity is closing, it is not completely shut. For all the President’s rhetoric, he has not at any point ruled out the possibility of trials or of a special court. Instead, his administration’s stated resistance has been limited to the narrow question of the use of international judges, in lieu of which he has suggested the presence of international advisors.133 At the same time, recent developments, including the replacement of the Head of the Military Intelligence at the bequest of civil society groups indicate that not only is the civilian leadership capable of controlling the security apparatus when it wants to, it is also receptive to the views of civil society even on matters of national security.134

Another fear articulated by some close to government is that the establishment of a special court could precipitate a rapid decline in the incumbent government’s popularity with the Sinhalese population, and set the stage for a return of the Rajapaksa family to power. We believe this fear to be overstated for a number of reasons. First, as alluded above, the government successfully defended the UNHCR resolution publicly soon after it was adopted. Moreover, it has continued to insist publicly that it will implement the resolution including its commitments on a special court.135 This positioning by the government may have required the expenditure of political capital, but these firm commitments have not threatened the stability of the government. Instead, the government has on occasion confidently asserted that it would ensure accountability.136

The real concern does not appear to be the lack of political space, but an unwillingness and at best a disinterest on the part of some within government to preserve that space. As the political window of opportunity begins to close, their actions appear to be designed to expedite that closing, not delay it. The government’s singular lack of communications on—and advocacy for—a transitional justice process has been commented on widely.137 We believe that yet another truth-seeking commission will encourage those opposed to accountability within government to bide time till the political space closes, at a time when the government’s communication apparatus should be compelled to prize open existing opportunities. In our view, it is only the establishment of a special court that will compel the government to expend the necessary political capital to retain the existing political space for transitional justice.

b. Guarding Against Delaying Tactics

Establishing a truth commission without a concurrent special court, could delay justice in two different ways. First, it may provide the government with the space to forego opportunities to establish a special court and second, it may stymie progress made on cases currently under investigation.

As discussed in Part II, governments have often established truth commissions in an attempt to demonstrate their goodwill while at the same time appeasing those opposed to trials. This strategy aims at diverting international and domestic pressure for trials and delaying accountability measures. In the meantime, the political window of opportunity for trials may close. This would provide an excuse for governments to renege on their promise to initiate prosecutions. This strategy was attempted by the former administration. In fact, the LLRC was created in an attempt to ease the growing pressure for accountability and divert international initiatives. In particular, it is significant that the LLRC was initiated at a time when the UN Secretary General was considering his options with respect to advancing the terms of the UN’s 2009 Joint Communique with Sri Lanka, in which President Rajapaksa agreed that Sri Lanka would address questions of accountability arising from the war.

In addition, the establishment of a truth commission accompanied by promises that the special court will be established soon thereafter may undermine progress on cases currently under criminal investigation. This is because the creation of the truth commission may create an expectation that conflict-related cases or cases involving gross human rights violations are no longer the responsibility of regular criminal courts but must be investigated by the truth commission and subsequently referred to the special court. However, if the creation of the special court is delayed this could create a situation where many cases remain in legal limbo. As the Nepal example shows, the “truth first, justice later approach” may engineer a situation of institutionalized impunity.

We believe these arguments support the view that a special court must be established alongside, and at any rate, not later than the establishment of a truth commission. In the event there is legitimate fear that resistance to trials will be unmanageable, we suggest there are alternative strategies than may be utilized to mitigate this risk, including a well thought through prosecutorial strategy.

c. Building Support for Trials through Other Strategies

Once a special court is established, the prosecutor will have to formulate a prosecutorial strategy and select cases that should be investigated as a priority. This may be done in a way that takes into account the political context in the country and public resistance to the prosecution of specific cases. For instance, at the beginning of the process, the prosecutor could initiate trials in relation to perpetrators who at this particular point in time have lost political capital, and are less likely to mobilize opinion against trials. Further, the prosecutor could initially focus on crimes that affected all communities such as enforced disappearances, while building comprehensive cases in the background through the investigation of more contentious cases. This would mean that a certain amount of political sensitivity will be woven into the court’s activities as a necessary strategy to strengthen its efficacy in the long run. Such a strategy would offer other advantages as well. It would provide the prosecutor with more time to conduct investigations into more contentious crimes while rectifying teething problems and creating precedents for successful prosecutions through the pursuit of cases that are less complex and contentious. This could build confidence in the institution and would help entrench rule of law.

Besides political and social factors, capacity in carrying out transitional justice measures must also be taken into account when deciding on a sequencing approach for Sri Lanka.

4. Sequencing and Capacity Challenges

In this section we address the following questions: To what extent does Sri Lanka have the capacity to carry out trials for international crimes? How does this consideration influence sequencing choices?

a. Prioritizing Truth over Justice: An Ill-suited Solution to Capacity Concerns

It must be noted on the outset that, whenever possible, capacity challenges ought to be addressed through targeted capacity building programs and, where appropriate, international support and assistance. The sequencing of transitional justice measures may only be a suitable response to capacity challenges in situations where the capacity deficit overwhelmingly outweighs the support that external parties may provide to a country. This is limited to extreme cases where a country experiences a general institutional breakdown or resource scarcity that renders the carrying out of a multi-sectoral reform agenda impossible. This is plainly not the case in Sri Lanka.

Timor Leste and Cambodia provide interesting comparisons in this regard. In both these countries, the institutional breakdown was so severe that a temporary UN administration was set up to run the country and help rebuild institutions. In addition, domestic human and financial resources were extremely scarce. In Timor Leste, almost all Indonesians who were in charge of the East Timorese judicial administration fled the country at the outbreak of the war.138 Similarly in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge’s systematic destruction of Cambodia’s professional class had a severe impact on the capacity of the country’s legal system.139 However, even in these situations, the support and involvement of the UN enabled the carrying out of trials, despite the severe overall capacity deficit experienced by these countries.

The situation in these countries is in no way comparable to that of Sri Lanka, from an institutional standpoint or from that of human resources. Sri Lanka possesses a sophisticated, albeit damaged, legal system and continues to boast a rich abundance of technical legal know-how and expertise in most relevant areas, though there are significant exception such as the absence of lawyers trained in international criminal law and investigators and lawyers trained in the skills necessary to handle mass atrocity crimes.

Even in extreme situations of overall capacity deficit where sequencing transitional justice measures is the only available policy option, it does not follow that non-judicial truth seeking must be prioritized over prosecutions. As argued in this paper, the social and political conditions in Sri Lanka demand that justice be delivered without delays. The same does not obtain for non-judicial truth-seeking. While there is a humanitarian imperative to ascertain the fate and whereabouts of missing persons, the Office on Missing Persons was specifically entrusted with this task. Therefore, tracing investigations will in all likelihood fall outside the ambit of the proposed truth commission. In light of this and of the other arguments articulated in this paper, there is no reason to prioritize non-judicial truth-seeking over trials.

In addition, the capacity challenges in carrying out trials for international crimes are not greater than those faced in conducting credible non-judicial investigations into mass atrocities allegedly committed over several decades or in conducting effective investigations into the fate of over 16,000 missing persons.140 Indeed, the main capacity challenge for carrying out trials is the lack of knowhow in conducting investigations and prosecutions for mass-scale crimes involving a large number of witnesses and other evidence. As just one example, by the time the judges of the Trial Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone retired to deliberate the charges against Charles Taylor in 2012, they had heard the testimony of 112 witnesses and reviewed evidence from 1,500 exhibits, over the course of five years.141 Any genuine truth seeking exercise will face similar challenges. In fact, truth commissions generally must wade through vaster amounts of evidence than trials, given their broader mandate. For example, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard testimony from over 21,000 victims and witnesses and reviewed 7,115 applications for amnesty.142 Truth commissions are also expected to execute their mandates in a smaller window of time than trials, typically two to three years.143 Investigations into international crimes also require that strict procedures be followed to ensure that the evidence meets the required evidentiary standard. This also necessitates experience and expertise. However, the same standards ought to be applied in non-judicial truth-seeking exercises to ensure that the evidence obtained is admissible in criminal proceedings.144 In light of this, it appears that investigations into mass-scale violations require the same capacity whether or not they are conducted for prosecutorial purposes. Furthermore, non-judicial investigations sometimes require a range of additional expertise that may not be readily available. In fact, it was officially acknowledged that Sri Lanka lacks the full range of technical expertise to operationalize the Office on Missing Persons.145 However, this may be addressed through the provision of external assistance and support as explicitly provided for in the Act establishing the Office on Missing Persons.146 Similarly, capacity-related challenges in carrying out trials into international crimes may be appropriately addressed through the setting up of a special court and special prosecutor’s unit with international involvement.

b. A Special Court with International Involvement: An Adequate Solution to Capacity Concerns

The inclusion of international personnel within a special court and a special prosecutor’s unit would be essential to strengthen the capacity of the newly established court and enable the carrying out of international crimes trials. In fact, international personnel experienced in the investigation, analysis, prosecution and litigation of international crimes could bring in best practices as well as processes and methods for the efficient processing and analysis of a large amount of evidence. This could adequately complement existing domestic capacity. The continuous training of all staff members in the applicable law and in best practices for investigation and analysis of international crimes will also be essential in overcoming capacity challenges.147

In addition to the lack of experience and expertise in the carrying out of investigation into mass-scale crimes, the Sri Lankan judiciary faces a number of other issues that may impede the success of international crimes prosecutions. These include a lack of independence of the judiciary and of the Attorney General’s Department, especially for conflict related cases and human rights case; violations of due process rights; as well as protracted delays in the administration of justice.148 However, these issues may also, to a large extent, be addressed through the creation of a special court with international participation.149 First, international participation in trials would minimize attempts of political interference with the judicial process. It would also lead to heightened international scrutiny by both States and INGOs. This will serve as a check on the integrity of the process and increase credibility of the trials.150 In addition, the establishment of a special court may also help circumvent chronic inefficiencies in the Sri Lankan legal system such as protracted delays.151 Finally, the creation of a special court would provide an opportunity to design its rules of procedure and evidence in line with international standards.

Therefore, capacity and other issues with respect to the carrying out of international crimes trials would be adequately addressed through the implementation of the Sri Lankan government’s commitment to set up a special court and special prosecutor’s unit with international participation.

IV. Conclusion

Sri Lanka has, since January 2015, embarked on an ambitious project of reform encompassing a wide range of areas: economic, constitutional, rule of law, reconciliation and human rights. In particular, Sri Lanka now has a unique opportunity to mark its transition from authoritarianism to democracy, and armed conflict to peace, through constitutional measures that address the root causes of the conflict as well as a transitional justice process to heal wounds of the past and end impunity. The sequencing choices between constitutional reform and transitional justice processes have not received comment in this paper. Indeed, it is now apparent that with the constitutional reform process on fast-track, that process will occupy centre-stage. There is also wide political support for this approach.

We suggest that once the constitutional reform process nears completion, Sri Lanka will once again face an important choice: one with far-reaching consequences for our democracy. At the heart of the sequencing debate is a central question: will the country eventually begin a serious process of ending impunity for mass crimes, or will we yet again countenance a lack of accountability for the most horrific crimes? In this paper, we suggest that if the country is to eventually grapple with and end the impunity that has given rise to chronic recurrences of mass atrocity crimes, it must eschew a dogmatic recourse to the “truth first, justice later” approach and move to enact the necessary legislation for trials swiftly. We suggest that to delay is to risk failure, and because the country simply cannot afford failure, the time for justice has come.


1 For arguments for and against prosecutions, see Richard Lewis Siegel, “Review: Transitional Justice: A Decade of Debate and Experience,” Human Rights Quarterly Vol. 20, No. 2 (May, 1998) pp. 437-41.

2 See generally, Jack Snyder, & Leslie Vinjamuri “Trials and Errors: Principle and Pragmatism in Strategies of International Justice,” International Security Vol. 28 No. 3 (2003).

3 See Isabelle Lassée, “Advancing Truth and Justice in Sri Lanka: An Introduction to Transitional Justice,” International Centre for Ethnic Studies & South Asian Centre for Legal Studies (June 2015), p. 8 [Introduction to Transitional Justice].

4 See, e.g., Chandra Lekha Sriram, Confronting Past Human Rights Violations: Justice v. Peace in Times of Transition (Frank Casss, 2004) [Sriram]; Human Rights Council, “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence” (August 2012) A/HRC/21/46.

5 Geoff Dancy & Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm, “Timing, Sequencing, and Transitional Justice Impact: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Latin America,” Human Rights Review (2015) p. 322.

6 Report of the Secretary-General, “The rule of law and Transitional Justice in conflict and post-conflict societies,” (August 2004) UN Doc S/2004/616.

7 Sequencing is not limited to truth commissions and trials. It also includes reparations measures. Some states have started the transitional justice process utilizing reparation schemes. Brazil is one such example. The Brazilian government started providing reparations for victims of human rights violations in 1990. It was only in 2011—after completing its reparation scheme—that the government established its National Truth Commission. See Glenda Mezarroba, “Between Reparations, Half Truths and Impunity: The Difficult Break with the Legacy of the Dictatorship in Brazil.” Sur: International Journal on Human Rights, Vol. 7 No. 13 (2010) [The Legacy].

8 See, e.g., Laurel E. Fletcher, Harvey M. Weinstein and Jamie Rowen, “Context, Timing and the Dynamics of Transitional Justice: A Historical Perspective,” Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 1 (February 2009) p. 167.

9 Huntington identifies four main ways in which a country transitions to democracy. He argues that the least amount of accountability will be achieved in situations of transformation. Transformation is where “those in power in an authoritarian regime take the lead and play the decisive role in ending that regime.” Slightly more accountability will be achieved in a transplacement. In transplacement “democratization is produced by the combined actions of government and opposition.” He states that in transplacement, accountability cannot be achieved immediately. However, with time, the conditions will be obtained to negotiate matters related to accountability. The third way in which regime changes take place is replacement. Here, the old regime is ultimately replaced by the opposition through a struggle: frequently through a coup or a civil war. In this context, accountability is particularly feasible as the ousted regime will not have power to resist trials. Finally, a country can transition to democracy through international intervention. According to Huntington, a higher level of accountability can be achieved in this context because of the involvement of external actors. See Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (University of Oklahoma Press, 1991) pp. 124-151.

10 Alexander Dukalskis, “Interactions in Transition: How Truth Commissions and Trials Complement or Constrain Each Other,” International Studies Review vol. 13 (2011) pp. 440-442 [Interactions in Transition].

11 See generally, Human Rights Watch, “Human Rights and the Politics of Agreements: Chile during President Aylwin's First Year,” (July 1991) p. 5 [Politics of Agreements].

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid.

14 Creation of the Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, Supreme Decree No. 355, 1990, ¶9.

15 Priscilla B. Hayner, Unspeakable Truths: Confronting State Terror and Atrocity (New York & London, Routledge, 2001) p. 48 [Hayner].

16 See Human Rights Watch, “Chile: The Struggle for Truth and Justice for Past Human Rights Violations,” vol. IV. No. 5 (July 1992) pp. 5-7, https://www.hrw.org/reports/pdfs/c/chile/chile927.pdf (accessed on 13th September 2016).

17 Jo-Marie Burt, “Fujimori on Trial,” (The North American Congress on Latin America); https://nacla.org/article/fujimori-trial (accessed on 10 September 2016).

18 The Legacy, supra 7, p. 44.

19 “Truth Commission: Argentina,” United States Institute of Peace (1983), http://www.usip.org/publications/truth-commission-argentina (accessed on 8 November 2016) [Truth Commission: Argentina].

20 Ibid.

21 Human Rights Watch, “Truth and Partial Justice in Argentina: An Update,” (April 1991) p.18 [Truth and Partial Justice]; See also, Kathryn Sikkink and Carrie Booth Walling, “Argentina’s contribution to global trends in Transitional Justice” in Naomi Roht-Arriaza & Javier Mariezcurrena (ed) Transitional Justice in the Twenty-First Century, (Cambridge University Press 2006) p. 36 [Roht-Arriaza].

22 Belinda Botha, “Truth Commissions and Their Consequences for Legitimacy,” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Houston, 1998) cited in Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm, Truth Commissions and Transitional Societies: The Impact on Human Rights and Democracy (New York, Routledge, 2010) p. 193. [Eric Wielbelhaus-Brahm].

23 See, e.g., Eric Brahm, “Uncovering the Truth: Examining Truth Commission Success and Impact,” International Studies Perspectives Vol. 8 (2007) pp. 16–35; Onur Bakiner, “Truth Commission Impact: An Assessment of How Commissions Influence Politics and Society,” The International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 8, (2014) pp. 6–30 [Bakiner].

24 Truth Commission: Argentina, supra 19.

25 On July 4, 1984, CONADEP conducted a two-hour program on television. The program consisted of testimonies from survivors of concentration camps and parents and relatives of those who disappeared. The program was very powerful and, as a result, the government seriously considered not showing it. In the end, President Alfonsin, after viewing it in private, made the decision to air it on national television. See Truth and Partial Justice, supra 21, p.18; See also Antonius C. G. M. Robben, Political Violence and Trauma in Argentina (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) p. 321.

26 Hayner, supra 15, p. 94.

27 President Aylwin released the Commission’s report on national television with an emotional statement. He begged forgiveness from the victims on behalf of the state and requested the armed forces to “make gestures of recognition of the pain caused.” See Neil J. Kritz, Transitional Justice: How Emerging Democracies Reckon with Former Regimes, Vol. III, (United States Institute of Peace Press, 1995) pp. 169-173 cited in Hayner supra 15, p. 37.

28 Cath Collins, Post Transitional Justice: Human Rights Trials in Chile and El Salvador (The Pennsylvania State University Press 2010), p. 75.

29 Human Rights Watch, “Human Rights and the Politics of Agreements: Chile during President Aylwin's First Year,” (July 1991) p. 22 [Politics of Agreements].

30 Ibid, p. 77.

31 Politics of Agreements, supra 26, p. 22.

32 Ibid.

33 Hayner, supra 15, p. 49.

34 Lisa Magarrell and Leonardo Filippini, “The Legacy of Truth Criminal Justice in the Peruvian Transition” (2006), International Center for Transitional Justice; https://www.ictj.org/sites/default/files/ICTJ-Peru-Legacy-Truth-2006-English.pdf (accessed on 10 September 2016) p. 44.

35 Ibid.

36 See Truth Commission: Argentina, supra 19.

37 See Richard Wilson, Prosecuting Pinochet: International Crimes in Spanish Domestic Law, p. 3.

38 Ibid, p. 3.

39 Hayner, supra 15, p. 49.

40 Case of Barrios Altos v Peru, Chumbipuma Aguirre and ors v Peru, Interpretation of the judgment of the merits, IACHR Series C, No. 83, [2001] IACHR 13, IHRL 1466 (IACHR 2001), 3rd September 2001, Inter-American Court of Human Rights [IACtHR] , La Cantuta v. Peru, Merits, Reparations and Costs, Judgment of 29 November 2006, Series C, No. 162; IACtHR. and Almonacid Arellano y otros v. Chile, Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs, Judgment of 26 September 2006, Series C, No. 154, IACtHR.

41 Christina Binder, Beyond Dispute: International Judicial Institutions as Lawmakers: The Prohibition of Amnesties by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, available at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/tablas/r26381.pdf.

42 Supreme Court of Chile, Criminal Chamber, Molco Case, No. 559-2004, 13 December 2006, paras 19-20. (See, however, the Inter-American Court's findings in Almonacid v. Chile, para. 121).

43 Human Rights Observatory, Universidad Diego Portales, “Human Rights in Chile, Summary of Court Cases for Past Human Rights Crimes, to end December 2009,” Bulletin no. 3, January 2010.

44 See Hayner, supra 15, p. 46.

45 See Argentina: Amnesty Laws Struck Down: Supreme Court’s Long-Awaited Ruling Allows Prosecution of “Dirty War” Crimes (14 June 2005).

46 See Hayner, supra 15, p. 47.

47 Ibid, p. 39.

48 Interactions in Transition, supra 10, p. 440.

49 See The Special Court for Sierra Leone, http://www.rscsl.org/ (accessed on 10th September 2016) [The Special Court for Sierra Leone].

50 The Lome Peace Agreement also provided amnesty for perpetrators on all sides of the conflict. Therefore when steps were taken to establish the TRC, perpetrators feared that it will lead to an annulment of amnesty. They sought to sabotage efforts to establish the TRC. Consequently, this led to a renewal of fighting. The possibility of war breaking out compelled the Government to reassess its position with respect to amnesty, and subsequently they made a request to United Nations to establish a special tribunal.

51 See William A. Schabas, “The Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission” in Roht-Arriaza supra 21, pp. 33-38.

52 Truth Commission: Sierra Leone, United States Institute of Peace, available at: http://www.usip.org/publications/truth-commission-sierra-leone (accessed on 29th September 2016).

53 The Special Court for Sierra Leone, supra 49.

54 Ibid.

55 The Commission was an independent statutory authority established to inquire into and report on Human Rights violations committed in the context of political conflicts in the territory between April 1974 and October 1999. Its initial two-year mandate was extended until 2005, and its final national public hearing was completed in late March 2004. The Commission submitted its final report to the President on October 31, 2005. See Caitlin Reiger, “Hybrid attempts at accountability for serious crimes in Timor Leste,” in Naomi Roht-Arriaza, supra 21, p. 143 [Caitlin].

56 Ibid, p.151.

57 Though the Special Panels managed to have a high number of prosecutions they could not enforce the punishment as many perpetrators—who were found guilty—escaped to Indonesia. The Indonesian government refused to co-operate with East Timor. Therefore the guilty remain free within Indonesia without facing punishment.

58 In addition, the CAVR was responsible for local panels named “Community Reconciliation Procedures.” The function of CAVR was to oversee these panels and provide expertise and support in the task.

59 Investigations led to indictment of members of the Indonesian armed forces and senior militia leaders. Most notable was the indictment of General Wiranto, the former head of the Indonesian military. See Caitlin, supra 55, p. 152.

60 Both countries have invited the ICC to conduct investigations into periods of violence, and both have also launched domestic criminal mechanisms to address ongoing and prior incidents of human rights abuse. See, e.g., Central African Republic: Make Justice a Priority (21 April 2016), https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/04/central-african-republic-make-justice-a-priority/; International Center for Transitional Justice, “Disappointed Hope: Judicial Handling of Post-Election Violence in Cote d’Ivoire” (April 2016).

61 “In Colombia, significant progress has already been made toward clarifying the truth and constructing historical memory, thanks to judicial processes like the Justice and Peace Process, the work of the Historical Memory Group and the National Center for Historic Memory, unofficial civil society initiatives around the country, and the findings of prior truth commissions that concentrated on specific issues or periods of the conflict.” International Center for Transitional Justice, What Role for a Truth Commission in Colombia (5 June 2015), available at: https://www.ictj.org/news/colombia-role-truth-commission.

62 See, e.g., Colombia referendum: Peace deal with FARC Rejected (3 October 2016), available at: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/colombia-referendum-peace-accord-farc-rejected-161002220514696.html.

63 Rhee Syngman (1948–60), Park Chung-hee (1962–79), and Chun Doo-hwan (1980–88).

64 Gwangju uprising had an enormous impact. It reinforced the pro-democracy movement in Korea culminating in 1987 when the People's Power movement finally broke the power of the South Korean military. See generally Jiwon Suh, “The Politics of Transitional Justice in Post-Suharto Indonesia,” (DPhil Thesis, The Ohio State University, 2012) p. 235 [The Politics of Transitional Justice in Post-Suharto Indonesia], and Chŏng-un Chʻoe, The Gwangju Uprising: The Pivotal Democratic Movement that Changed the Modern History of Korea, Yu Young Nan (Trans.) (New Jersey, Homa & Sekey Books, 1990).

65 The Politics of Transitional Justice in Post-Suharto Indonesia, supra 64, p. 234.

66 Ibid, p. 224; See also, Paul Hanley, “Transitional Justice in South Korea: One Country’s Restless Search for Truth and Reconciliation,” University of Pennsylvania East Asia Law Review, vol. 9 no. 139 (2014).

67 Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths (2000-2004); TRC (2005-2010). For more information regarding the historical record of trials and truth commissions, see generally, Paul Hanley, “Transitional Justice in South Korea: One Country’s Restless Search for Truth and Reconciliation,” University of Pennsylvania East Asia Law Review, vol. 9 no. 139 (2014).

68 See, “Truth and Justice: in Tandem,” supra Section II.3.a.

69 See, e.g., Human Rights Watch, Seductions of “Sequencing:” The Risks of Putting Justice Aside for Peace (18 March 2011) available at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/03/18/seductions-sequencing. See also, UN General Assembly, Annual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Analytical study on human rights and transitional justice: Addendum-Inventory of human rights and transitional justice aspects of recent peace agreements), A/HRC/12/18/Add.1, (21 August 2009), p. 9.

70 Paul van Zyl, On Transitional Justice, UN Web TV: The United Nations Live & On-Demand (18 August 2008), available at: http://webtv.un.org/watch/paul-van-zyl-on-transitional-justice/2586491808001; Cf., Introduction to Transitional Justice, supra 3, p. 8.

71 See Interactions in Transition, supra 10, pp. 439-40.

72 See Hayner, supra 15, p. 91.

73 Ibid.

74 Melissa S. Williams, Rosemary Nagy, Jon Elster (Ed.) Transitional Justice (New York & London, New York University Press, 2012) p. 272; Roht-Arriaza, supra 21, p. 334.

75 See Hayner, supra 15, pp. 102-104.

76 The Salvadoran Civil War was a conflict between the military-led government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). FMLN was a coalition or "umbrella organization" of five left-wing guerrilla groups. The full-fledged civil war lasted for more than 12 years and saw extreme violence from both sides. It also included the deliberate terrorizing and targeting of civilians by death squads, the recruitment of child soldiers, and other violations of Human Rights, mostly by the military. An unknown number of people disappeared during the conflict, and the UN reports that more than 75,000 were killed.

77 Chapultec Peace Agreement, Ch. I(5): End to Impunity, (1992), U.N. Doc. No. A/46/864-S/23501, http://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/SV_920116_ChapultepecAgreement.pdf (accessed on 1st October 2016).

78 Cath Collins, supra 28, pp. 160,165. See also, Implementation of the Peace Accords (United States Institute of Peace, 2001) pp. 10-19.

79 See Sriram, supra 4, pp. 95-96. In fact, Thomas Buergenthal who was one of the three commissioners of the El Salvadorian Truth Commission later stated in an interview that to recommend prosecutions when serious trials were out of the question would have made things worse. “They would have gone through the motions and acquitted the accused,” he says, giving the government an opportunity in effect to retry the commission’s findings. “And how would you expect anyone to testify against these people? Who would testify against Defense Minister [René Emilio] Ponce, for example? Trials would have had the opposite effect of what people expect, I am sure. Nobody would have given testimony, and everybody would be acquitted, except those on the left. People were almost too scared to talk to us.” Hayner supra 15, p.92.

80 See Cath Collins, supra 28, p. 160.

81 Chapultepec Peace Agreement, Art. 2. See El Salvador: Mexico Peace Agreement (Provisions creating the Commission on Truth, 1991), p. 178, http://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/file/resources/collections/commissions/El%20Salvador-Charter.pdf (accessed on 1st October 2016).

82 See Hayner, supra 15, p. 102, 129; Wiebelhaus-Brahm supra 22, p. 83; Truth Commission: El Salvador, http://www.usip.org/publications/truth-commission-el-salvador (accessed on 14th September 2016).

83 See Wiebelhaus-Brahm, supra 22, p. 83.

84 The military’s top negotiator, General Mauricio Vargas, described the report as “biased, incomplete, unfair, totally unacceptable.” The military leadership in its entirety appeared on national television to characterize the report as “unfair, incomplete, illegal, unethical, partisan and insolent.” The Supreme Court also immediately denounced it. Salvadoran President Alfredo Cristiani of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) condemned the commission for failing to advance national reconciliation and “exceeding its mandate. See Wiebelhaus-Brahm, supra 22, pp. 83- 84.

85 General Amnesty Law for the Consolidation of Peace, Legislative Decree 486 (20 March 1993), available in Spanish at: http://bibliohistorico.juridicas.unam.mx/libros/5/2048/30.pdf (accessed on 1st October 2016). See Amnesty International, “El Salvador rejects Amnesty Law in historic ruling” (14 July 2016) https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/07/el-salvador-rejects-amnesty-law-in-historic-ruling/ (accessed on 14th September 2016); See generally Jiyon Yi, “El Salvador’s 1993 Amnesty Law Overturned: Implications for Colombia” (July 25 2016, Council on Hemispheric Affairs) http://www.coha.org/el-salvadors-1993-amnesty-law-overturned-implications-for-colombia/ (accessed on 14th September 2016).

86 The Amnesty came as a shock to many people. There was no open debate about it and the Truth Commission did not make any reference to it. The law was broad and it was not restricted to a certain group of people, like in South Africa. See generally Margaret Popkin, Peace without Justice: Obstacles to Building the Rule of Law in El Salvador (The Pennsylvania State University, 2000), p. 158.

87 See Collins, supra 28, pp. 158-165; Wiebelhaus-Brahm, supra 22, pp.83-86, 94-96.

88 See ICTJ, ‘Twenty Years Later, A Chance for Accountability in El Salvador’ (10/1/2013) < https://www.ictj.org/news/twenty-years-later-chance-accountability-el-salvador> (accessed on 14th September 2016).

89 See Joanna R. Quinn, “Constraints: The Un-Doing of the Ugandan Truth Commission,” Human Rights Quarterly vol. 26 (2004) p.408 [The Un-Doing of the Ugandan Truth Commission].

90 The CIVHR was called upon to investigate “violations of Human Rights, breaches of the rule of law and excessive abuses of power committed against the people of Uganda by the regimes and governments” in power from October 1962 until January 1986. The legislation listed nine wide-ranging categories of violations for consideration. It also stipulated that the Commission can consider any other matter connected to the categories already mentioned. These included investigation of mass murder; arbitrary arrest, detention and imprisonment; unfair trials; torture; crimes of law enforcement agents; the displacement, expulsion or disappearance of Ugandans; discriminatory treatment; the denial of any human right; the protection of anyone who had perpetrated such crimes; and anything else the Commission deemed necessary. See The Un-Doing of the Ugandan Truth Commission, supra 89, p. 408.

91 See Hayner, supra 15, p. 243.

92 Joanna R. Quinn, “Dealing with a legacy of mass atrocity: Truth Commissions in Uganda and Chile,” Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, vol. 19 (2001), pp. 393-4.

93 Ibid.

94 Ibid.

95 Ibid, p. 395.

96 See Wiebelhaus-Brahm, supra 22, pp. 108-110; The Commission forwarded many cases to the police investigation unit, when sufficient evidence was collected to hold trials. The police, in turn, sent these cases to the director of public prosecutions. But very few of these cases ever made it to a courtroom. The few cases that made it to the courtroom were not pursued and the perpetrators have been released. See Hayner, supra 15, p. 243.

97 See Wiebelhaus-Brahm, supra 22, p. 106.

98 See Michael Otim and Kasande Sarah Kihika, “On the Path to Vindicate Victims, Rights in Uganda Reflections on the Transitional Justice Process Since Juba,” (ICTJ Briefing, June 2015) https://www.ictj.org/sites/default/files/ICTJ-Briefing-Uganda-TJProcess-2015_0.pdf (accessed on 30th September 2016).

99 OHCHR, Technical Note: The Nepal Act on the Commission on Investigation of Disappeared Persons, Truth and Reconciliation, 2071 (2014) – as Gazetted 21 May 2014, http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/NP/OHCHRTechnical_Note_Nepal_CIDP_TRC_Act2014.pdf (accessed on 12th October 2016).

100 Ibid, p. 1.

101 Tariq Ahmed, “Nepal: Supreme Court Strikes Down Amnesty Provision in Truth and Reconciliation Law,” Global Legal Monitor (2015) http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/nepal-supreme-court-strikes-down-amnesty-provision-in-truth-and-reconciliation-law/ (accessed on 8 November 2016).

102 The Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, TRC Act, 2071 (2014), published in Gazette No. 2071/01/28 on 11 May 2014 [Truth and Reconciliation Act].

103 In Chapter I, section 2(j) gross violation of Human Rights are defined as “following acts which were committed in the course of armed conflict directed against unarmed persons or civilian population or committed systematically: (1) Murder, (2) Abduction and taking of hostage, (3) Enforced disappearance, (4) Causing mutilation or disability, (5) Physical or mental torture, (6) Rape and sexual violence, (7) Looting, possession, damage or arson of private or public property, (8) Forceful eviction from house and land or any other kind of displacement, (9) Any kind of inhuman acts inconsistent with the international Human Rights or humanitarian law or other crime against humanity;” Truth and Reconciliation Act, section 25(2)(b).

104 Truth and Reconciliation Act, section 26(2).

105 Truth and Reconciliation Act, section 26(2); See also, Eduardo González Cueva, “Seeking Options for the Right to Truth in Nepal,” (ICTJ Briefing Paper, December 2012), https://www.ictj.org/sites/default/files/ICTJ-Briefing-Paper-Nepal-Ordinance-Dec-2012-ENG.pdf (accessed on 30th September 2016).

106 Truth and Reconciliation Act, section 22.

107 Ibid, section 29.

108 See, e.g., Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21: Sri Lanka (Summary of stakeholders' information), (HRC Geneva, 22 October – 5 November 2012), UN Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/14/LKA/3 http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/LKSession14.aspx (accessed on 23rd October 2016); Contributions for the Summary of Stakeholder's information, Universal Periodic Review - Sri Lanka Reference Documents, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRSriLankaStakeholderInfoS14.aspx> (accessed on 23rd October 2016).

109 See, e.g., Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, “The Path to Peace,” (May 2016) https://www.srilankacampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/The-Path-to-Peace-final.pdf (accessed on 25th October 2016); Human Rights Watch, “World Report 2016: Sri Lanka Events of 2015,” https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2016/country-chapters/sri-lanka (accessed on 26th October 2016).

110 See Human Rights Council, Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka, (16 September 2015), UN Doc. A/HRC/30/CRP.2, pp. 248-251.

111 Kishali Pinto Jayawardena, “We do not need a truth and reconciliation commission,” (January 19, 2014, Sunday Times) http://www.sundaytimes.lk/140119/columns/we-do-not-need-a-truth-and-reconciliation-commission-80310.html (accessed on 25th October 2016).

112 Ibid.

113 See Kishali Pinto Jayawardena, Post War Justice in Sri Lanka: Rule of Law, the Criminal Justice System and Commissions of Inquiries (International Commission of Jurists, January 2010).

114 The mandate of the Commission was “to examine the circumstances that lead to such incidents of abductions, disappearances, unidentified dead bodies and unexplained killings as were reported throughout Sri Lanka in the recent past, to identify any armed group or groups, any other forces or persons who were directly or indirectly responsible for or involved in these incidents, to identify the causes and motives for such incidents, to assess the adequacy of the security arrangements made by the police and the security forces to prevent such incidents.” See Center for Policy Alternatives, “A List of Commissions of Inquiry and Committees Appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka (2006–2012)” (March 2012) https://lnwnewsbackup.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/commissions-and-committees-appointed-since-2005.pdf and (accessed on 25th October 2016) [List of CoIs].

115 UNHRC, OISL, supra 110, ¶72.

116 The Commissioners were to “inquire and report on the following matters that may have taken place during the period between 21st February 2002 and 19th May 2009, namely; (i.) The facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the Ceasefire Agreement operationalized on 21st February 2002 and the sequence of events that followed thereafter up to the 19th of May 2009; (ii). Whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly bear responsibility in this regard; (iii). The lessons we would learn from those events and their attendant concerns, in order to ensure that there will be no recurrence; (iv). The methodology whereby restitution to pay persons affected by those events or their dependents or their heirs, can be effected; (v) The institutional, administrative and legislative measures which need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence of such concerns in the future, and to promote further national unity and reconciliation among communities and; to make any such other recommendations with reference to any of the matters that have been inquired into under the terms of the Warrant”, LLRC Report (November 2011) ¶1.5.

117 UNHRC, OISL, supra 110, ¶512.

118 Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, (31 March 2011).

119 UNHRC, OISL, supra 110.

120 See Sri Lanka Campaign for Justice, “The Paranagama Commission has done great damage. Now that damage must be repaired” (Jul 6, 2016), https://www.srilankacampaign.org/paranagama-commission-done-great-damage-now-damage-must-repaired/ (accessed on 27th October 2016).

121 List of CoIs, supra 114.

122 Ibid.

123 Statement on Accountability and the timing of Transitional Justice Mechanisms in Sri Lanka (22nd June, 2016) http://sangam.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Civil-Society-Statement-on-Accountability-and-Timing-TJ-22nd-June-2016.pdf (accessed on 25th October 2016).

124 Sri Lanka Brief, The Narrow Window of Opportunity in Sri Lanka Could Fade Away Soon (22 June 2016) http://srilankabrief.org/2016/06/the-narrow-window-of-opportunity-in-sri-lanka-could-fade-away-soon-say-some-activists/.

125 Mahinda Rajapaksa, Betraying the Armed Forces Through the “Office of Missing Persons,” Colombo Telegraph (20 July 2016) https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/betraying-the-armed-forces-through-the-office-of-missing-persons/.

126 South Asian Centre for Legal Studies, From Words to Action: A Roadmap for Implementing Sri Lanka’s Transitional Justice Commitments (February 2016), p. 2, http://sacls.org/images/publications/reports/FROM_WORDS_TO_ACTION.pdf (accessed on 25th October 2016).

127 Sri Lanka Brief, “Advancing Reconciliation Diplomacy: Sri Lanka FM On Implementation of the Geneva Resolution” (24/06/2016) http://srilankabrief.org/2016/06/advancing-reconciliation-diplomacy-sri-lanka-fm-on-implementation-of-the-geneva-resolution/ (accessed on 25th October 2016); Unites States Institute for Peace, ‘Advancing Reconciliation and Development in Sri Lanka’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCYB3hT034A&feature=youtu.be&t=4183 (accessed on 25th October 2016). 

128 Parliamentary Debate (22nd October, 2015, Vol 238, cols 985-1115, <https://www.parliament.lk/uploads/documents/hansard/1446089031089971.pdf> (accessed on 20th September 2016); Parliamentary Debate (23rd October, 2015, Vol 238, CoIs 1133-1280 https/www.parliament.lk/uploads/documents/hansard/1446201996064936.pdf (accessed on 20th September 2016).

129 See Niran Anketell, “Questions of Haste, Urgency and Consultations in Transitional Justice,” (20 April 2016 Sri Lanka Brief) http://groundviews.org/2016/04/20/questions-of-haste-urgency-and-consultations-in-transitional-justice/ (accessed on 2nd November 2016).

130 Niran Anketell, “Yahapalanaya at 1: Is Transitional Justice In Crisis?” (02/02/2016 Sri Lanka Brief) http://srilankabrief.org/2016/02/yahapalanaya-at-1-is-transitional-justice-in-crisis-niran-anketell/ (accessed on 2nd November 2016); The prime minister maintains the constitution bars foreign judges on Sri Lanka trials but could allow them as advisers. “Foreign judges can’t be part of Lankan rights abuse probe: Ranil Wickremesinghe,” (September 27, 2015 PTI) https://lankapage.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/foreign-judges-cant-be-part-of-lankan-rights-abuse-probe-ranil-wickremesinghe/ (accessed on 5 November 2015); “Constitution does not permit foreign judges to sit in judgment – Ranil,” (February 2, 2016, Island) https://www.ictj.org/news/sri-lankan-constitution-does-not-allow-foreign-judges-pm-ranil (accessed on 5 November 2015).

131 “As Long As I Am The President, No International Participation In Judicial Process” Sirisena Declares’ (Colombo Telegraph, 9th July 2016) https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/as-long-as-i-am-the-president-no-international-participation-in-judicial-process-sirisena-declares/ (accessed on 26th October 2016); Easwaran Rutnam, Outrage As President Insists No Foreign Judges’ (The Sunday Leader) http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2016/03/27/outrage-as-president-insists-no-foreign-judges/ (accessed on 26th October 2106); ‘Sri Lanka rejects international component to accountability, denies reports of ongoing torture’, (Tamil Guardian, 21 January 2016) http://tamilguardian.com/content/sri-lanka-rejects-international-component-accountability-denies-reports-ongoing-torture?articleid=17089 (accessed on 26th October 2016); See also ‘Dharisha Bastian, “President Slams Bribery Commission for ‘Hauling’ Gota and Navy Chiefs to Court,” (12/10/2016, Sri Lanka Brief) http://srilankabrief.org/2016/10/president-slams-bribery-commission-for-hauling-gota-and-navy-chiefs-to-court/ (accessed on 26th October 2016); ‘Protect Independence Of Independent Commissions’ (The Sunday Leader) http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2016/10/23/protect-independence-of-independent-commissions/ (accessed on 26th October 2016).

132 “My responsibility to protect the honour of war heroes,” declares Sri Lankan president, (27 October 2016, Tamil Guardian) http://www.tamilguardian.com/content/%E2%80%98my-responsibility-protect-honour-war-heroes%E2%80%99-declares-sri-lankan-president (accessed on 29th October 2016); Athula Vithanage, ‘Sri Lanka President intervenes on behalf of accused military men’ (14 October 2016, JDSLanka) http://www.jdslanka.org/index.php/news-features/politics-a-current-affairs/633-sri-lanka-president-intervenes-on-behalf-of-accused-military-men (accessed on 25th October 2016).

133 See Gagani Weerakoon, Will Maithri Succumb to International Pressure, Ceylon Today (10 July 2016) http://www.ceylontoday.lk/columns20160321CT20170330.php?id=288.

134 Sri Lanka Removes Intelligence Chief After Jaffna Disturbances, Arab News (3 November 2016), http://www.arabnews.com/node/1005841/world.

135 Dharisha Bastians, Fresh from Geneva, Mangala Promises Transitional Justice Next Steps Soon, Daily FT, (7 July 2016) http://www.ft.lk/article/553317/Fresh-from-Geneva--Mangala-promises-transitional-justice-next-steps-soon.

136 Easwaran Rutnam, Accoutability Process: Government Ready to Accept International Participation, The Sunday Leader (3 July 2016) http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2016/07/03/accountability-process-government-ready-to-accept-international-participation/.

137 See Alex Keenan, Impunity and Justice: Why UNHRC Must Stay Engaged in Sri Lanka, Asian Mirror (18 June 2016) http://www.asianmirror.lk/opinion/item/17283-impunity-and-justice-why-unhrc-must-stay-engaged-in-sri-lanka; South Asian Centre for Legal Studies, Questions of Haste, Urgency and Consultations in Transitional Justice (20 April 2016) http://sacls.org/media-articles/english/questions-of-haste-urgency-and-consultations-in-transitional-justice.

138 See Legal History and the Rule of Law in Timor-Leste, USAID, The Asia Foundation, Timor-Leste Education Project (Stanford Law School) (2013), p. 18, http://web.stanford.edu/group/tllep/cgi-bin/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Legal-History-and-the-Rule-of-Law-in-Timor-Leste.pdf.

139 Kelli Muddell, ‘Transitional Justice in Cambodia: Challenges and Opportunities’ (Symposium Report September 9, 2003), ICTJ, p. 3 https://www.ictj.org/sites/default/files/ICTJ-HRW-Cambodia-Symposium-2003-English.pdf (accessed on 9th November 2016).

140 See, e.g., Hayner, supra 15, pp. 210-233.

141 Nicholas Jahr, the Strange Case of Charles Taylor (1 August 2012), available at: http://www.brooklynrail.org/2012/08/express/the-strange-case-of-charles-taylor.

142 See Hayner, supra 15, p. 28.

143 Ibid, p. 215.

144 “Separating the tracing and the criminal investigations serves neither the interests of truth-seeking nor the interest of justice. Given the overlap in both investigations, a strict separation between the tracing body and a criminal investigation is in any event not possible.” Dr. Isabelle Lassee, “Criminal” and “Humanitarian” Approaches to Investigations into the Fate of Missing Persons: A False Dichotomy” (2016).

145 “Enough is enough: Mangala hits back MR on Office for Missing Persons,” (Sunday Times, 1 August 2016) http://www.sundaytimes.lk/article/1006374/1006374 (accessed on 9th November 2016).

146 Office of Missing Persons Bill (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions), Section 11, http://sangam.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/OMP-Act-Aug-2016.pdf.

147 As argued elsewhere, trials for mass conflict related crimes or mass scale crimes would require legislative reforms to incorporate international crimes into domestic law with retroactive effect. See Dr. Isabelle Lassee & Eleanor Vermunt, “Fitting the Bill:” Incorporating International Crimes into Sri Lankan Law (2016).

148 See, e.g, Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka (2011), paras. 100-101, 354; Kishali Pinto Jayawardena, Still Seeking Justice in Sri Lanka (2010), pp. 131-133; Preliminary Observations and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers (7 May 2016), p. 7.

149 See generally, Rhadeena de Alwis & Niran Anketell, A Hybrid Court: Ideas for Sri Lanka (2015).

150 Niran Anketell, “Building credible mechanisms for domestic accountability and transitional justice: Prosecutions and criminal justice,” (Daily FT, 23 January 2015) (accessed on 9th November 2016).

151 Niran Anketell, “Building credible mechanisms for domestic accountability and transitional justice: Prosecutions and criminal justice,” (Daily FT, 23 January 2015) (accessed on 9th November 2016).


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இலங்கை தேசிய ஒற்றுமைக்கும் நல்லுறவுக்குமான ஜனாதிபதி அலுவலகத்தின் ஒரு அங்கத்தவரான ராம் மாணிக்கலிங்கம் அண்மையில் ஒரு கட்டுரையிலே தமிழரின் சுயாட்சி பற்றிய விடயம் ஒரு புதிய அரசியலமைப்புச் சட்டத்தினுள் முறைப்படுத்தப்படும் வரைக்கும், திரளான குற்றச்செயல்களையிட்ட பொறுப்புக்கூறலை இலங்கை முன்னுரிமைப்படுத்தக்கூடாதெனவும், அத்துடன் மனித உரிமைகளுக்காகக் குரல்கொடுக்கும் சர்வதேச ஆர்வலர்கள் ஏனைய நல்லுறவுக்கான வடிவங்களுக்கு மேலாக யுத்தக் குற்றச்செயல்கள் விசாரணைக்கு முன்னுரிமை கொடுப்பதை நிறுத்த வேண்டும் எனவும் வாதித்துள்ளார்.

மாணிக்கலிங்கத்தின் கட்டுரையானது நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதிக்குள் திரும்பத்திரும்ப இடம்பெறும் இரு விவாதங்களைத் தொட்டுவரையப்பட்டது. அவை இரண்டுமே அந்தத் துறையைப்போலவே தொன்மை வாய்ந்தனவாகும். முதலாவது – சமாதானம் எதிர் நீதி எனும் வாதம். இரண்டாவது – நல்லுறவு தொடர்பான நடவடிக்கைகளின் ஒழுங்குதொடர் பற்றிய பிரச்சினை. அவரது கட்டுரையிலே யுத்தக் குற்றச்செயல்களுக்கான விசாரணைகளைவிட அரசியற்தீர்வே மிக முக்கியம் என்பதனால், அவைகளையிட்ட ஒழுங்குத்தொடரானது அரசியற்தீர்வுக்கு சலாக்கியத்தை வழங்குவதாயும் யுத்த குற்றச்செயல்களையிட்ட விசாரணையானது பின்பு இடம்பெறுவதாயும் இருக்கவேண்டும் என யோசனை தெரிவித்திருக்கிறார். இந்தக் கட்டுரையிலே தேசியப் பிரச்சினைக்கான அரசியற்தீர்வையும் குற்றச்செயல்களின் அட்டூழியத்துக்கான பொறுப்புக்கூறலையும அவர் இரண்டாகத் துருவப்படுத்தியிருப்பது பிழை என்பதையும், குற்றச்செயல்களின் அட்டூழியங்களை விசாரிக்கும் சட்டக் கட்டமைப்பின் நிர்மாணமானத்தை பின்னையதற்கு முன்னாக நிலைநாட்டுவது மேம்பட்ட உபாயமெனவும் கூற விழைகிறேன்.

இலங்கைத் தேசியப் பிரச்சினைக்கான அரசியற்தீர்வானது வழக்குத்தொடுத்தலுக்கும் விட முக்கியமானது எனும் வாதம் குறிப்பிட்ட அளவுக்கு உள்ளார்ந்த ரீதியிலே கவர்ச்சிகரமானதுதான். இருந்தாலுங்கூட, இப்படியான பகுப்பாய்வானது இனப்பிரச்சினைக்கு எண்ணெய் வார்க்கும் மோசமான குற்றச்செயல்களைப் புரிந்தவர்களைத் தண்டிக்கும் அதன் வகிபங்கைக் கவனத்திற் கொள்ளத் தவறுவதால், இது வெறும் மேலோட்டமானதே. சமத்துவத்துக்கான தமிழர் அரசியற் போராட்டமானது இலங்கை சுதந்திரம் பெறுவதற்கு முன்னதாகவே இருந்து வந்துள்ளது; குறைந்தபட்சம் இலங்கை சுதந்திரம் பெற்ற காலத்திலிருந்தாவது அதற்கெதிராகப் பல்வேறு மட்டங்களிலே வன்முறைகள் கட்டவிழ்த்துவிடப்பட்டு அவை தண்டிக்கப்படாது விடப்பட்டமை தொடர்ச்சியாக இடம்பெற்று வந்துள்ளது. தண்டிக்கப்படாமல் விடப்பட்ட வன்முறை அத்தியாயங்கள் ஒவ்வொன்றுமே இன முறுகல்களுக்குப் புதிய எண்ணெய் வார்த்து இறுதியிலே இருதிறத்திலும் கட்டுப்பாடுமீறிய வன்முறைகளுக்கு இட்டுச்சென்றுள்ளது. 1983 இனப்படுகொலைகள் – இலங்கை சுதந்திரம் அடைந்த பின்பு எந்த ஒரு இனத்துக்கும் எதிராக விடுக்கப்பட்ட மிகப்பெரிய தாக்குதல் என ஐயமின்றிக்கூறக்கூடியதான அவைகள் – ஒரு வாலிப புரட்சியைத் துரிதமாக முழு அளவிலான யுத்தமாக, பேரழிவையேற்படுத்தும் அளவுக்கு மாற்றியமைத்துவிட்டது. தண்டனையின்மையும் அதனால் விளைந்த வன்முறையும், அவை தண்டிக்கப்படாமையால் அத்தகைய வன்முறையானது எவ்வேளையிலும் பொறிதட்டப்படலாம் எனும் அச்சமுந்தான் சுயாட்சிக்கான கோரிக்கையின் இதயபீடமாய் அமைந்துள்ளது. இதனாலேதான் தமிழ் அரசியல்வாதிகள் பொலிஸ் அதிகாரங்களுக்கான உரிமையை வலியுறுத்தி வந்துள்ளனர்; தமது நிதிய மற்றும் பொருளாதார அதிகாரங்களுக்கு மேலாக, தமது சரீரகப் பாதுகாப்பின் மீதான கட்டுப்பாடானது சரியாகவோ அல்லது தப்பாகவோ மிகவும் அவசரமானதும் அத்தியாவசியமானதுமான கரிசனையாக அவர்களால் கணிக்கப்படுகிறது. எனவே, தண்டனையின்மையை முடிவுக்குக் கொண்டுவராமல் தேசியப்பிரச்சினைக்கு உண்மையான தீர்வு இருக்கமுடியாது. இனப்பிரச்சினைக்கு பொறுப்புக்கூறாத அதிகாரப்பகிர்வு மாத்திரமே சர்வநிவாரணி எனும் எடுகோளானது, சுயாட்சிக்கான கோரிக்கைகளுடன் திரட்சியான குற்றறச்செயல்களுக்கான தண்டனையின்மையானது இரண்டறக் கலந்துள்ளது எனும் நிஜத்தைப் புறக்கணிப்பதுடன், இன்னுமொரு பரந்தளவிலான அட்டூழியத்தைக் கட்டுப்படுத்த இயலாத அரசியலுக்கு வழிவகுத்து, இனங்களிடையேயான சகவாழ்வுக்கான சாத்தியங்கள் எதனையும் நிரந்தரமாகப் பாதித்தும் விடக்கூடும்.

மாணிக்கலிங்கத்தின் கட்டுரையானது இலங்கையின் இனப்பிரச்சினையின் மூலாதார இயக்கசக்தியையும் புறக்கணிப்பதாக உள்ளது. தேசியத் தலைவர்களால் முறித்துப்போடப்பட்ட வாக்குறுதிகளின் சம்பவக்கோர்வைகள் தமிழ் அரசியலின் உணர்வலைகளின் இதயபீடத்திலே கசிந்துள்ளது. இந்தப் பின்புலத்திலே, பொறுப்புக்கூறல் பற்றி இலங்கை வழங்கிய மேலும் ஓர் வாக்குறுதியை இலங்கை அரசு கனப்படுத்தத் தவறும்பட்சத்திலே, அது இன நம்பிக்கையீனத்துக்கு மேலும் பங்களிப்புச்செய்வதாக ஆகிவிடும். பண்டா – செல்வா ஒப்பந்தம், டட்லி – செல்வா ஒப்பந்தம் ஆகியவை அடுத்தடுத்து வந்த அரசுகளால் ஒருதலைப்பட்சமாக தூக்கியெறியப்பட்டது மட்டுமன்றி தொடர்ந்த கால ஓட்டத்திலே மேலும் பல வாக்குறுதிகள் நிறைவேற்றப்படாமையானது இலங்கையின் இனப்பிரச்சினைகள் பற்றிய எந்த ஒரு பக்கச்சசார்பற்ற கணிப்பிலும் பூதாகாரமாகித் தெரிகிறதாய் உள்ளது. அதேபோல, கடந்த ஒக்டோபர் 2015 இலே ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையின் தீர்மானத்திலே தற்போது உள்ளடக்கப்பட்டுள்ளதான, பொறுப்புக்கூறுதலுக்கான இலங்கையின் அர்ப்பணிப்பானது, இருதரப்பினராலும் இழைக்கப்பட்ட அட்டூழியங்களுடன் எப்படி இடைப்படுவது என்பதிலே அரசுக்கும் தமிழ் அரசியற் தலைவர்களுக்கும் இடையே அரசியல் இசைவுக்காக அடித்தளத்தை அமைத்துள்ளது. தமிழ் மக்களிடையே தீவிரப்போக்கான ஒரு சாராரின் கடும் எதிர்ப்பு நிலவினாலுங்கூட, தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் தலைமையானது பணயப்பங்காளிகளுடன் ஜெனீவாத் தீர்மானத்திலே ஒரு சில கூர்மிய திருத்தங்களைச் செய்யும் விடயத்தையிட்டுக் கலந்துரையாடி, அத்திருத்திய தீர்மானம் பேரவையிலே நிறைவேற்றப்படுவதற்குத் தனது ஒத்துழைப்பை வழங்கியிருந்தது. அதுமுதற்கொண்டு அந்தத் தீர்மானமானது வெறுமனே சர்வதேச சமூகத்துக்கும் இலங்கைக்கும் இடையிலான ஒப்பந்தமாக மாத்திரமன்றி, இலங்கை அரசுக்கும் தமிழ் மக்களுக்கும் இடையே அதேயளவுக்கு முக்கியமானதாக இருக்கிறதாகக் கூட்டமைப்பு கோரியும் வந்துள்ளது. அந்த அடிப்படையிலேயே, அந்தத் தீர்மானத்தின் நிபந்தனைகளை முற்றாக அமுல்படுத்தும்படியாக அது கூறிவந்துமுள்ளது. இந்த ஒப்பந்தம் இப்போது தடம்புரளச் செய்யப்பட்டால், ஜெனீவா தீர்மானங்களைக் கைவிட்டமையானது ஒரு காலத்திலே அன்றைய பண்டா – செல்வா மற்றும் டட்லி – செல்வா ஒப்பந்தங்கள் மீறப்பட்டமையைப் பற்றி எழுந்த அதே கசப்புடனேயே அவர்களால் நினைவுகூரப்படலாம்.

எனவே, குறிப்பாக இலங்கையின் இனப்பூசலின் குறிப்பான ஏதுக்களின்படி, அதிகாரப் பகிர்வுப் பிரச்சினையை பொறுப்புக்கூறுதலைவிட வேறுபட்டதாகக் கருதுவதானது பிரச்சினையானதாக அமைந்துள்ளது. தேசியப் பிரச்சினையின் இதயபீடத்திலே உள்ள எந்த ஒரு சரித்திரப் பிரச்சினையையும் நிவிர்த்திசெய்ய எடுக்கப்படும் எந்த ஒரு அர்த்தமுள்ள முயற்சியும் திரண்ட அட்டூழியங்களுக்கு நிலவும் தண்டனையின்மையானது முடிவுக்குக் கொண்டுவரப்படுவதை உறுதிசெய்வதுடன், பரஸ்பரம் இணக்கம் காணப்பட்டவைகள் கனப்படுத்தப்படுவதாயும் இருக்க வேண்டும். இதற்கு இலங்கை இணை ஆதரவு வழங்கிய ஜெனிவா தீர்மானத்திலே கூறப்பட்டுள்ள வழிமுறைகளிலே அட்டூழியக் குற்றச்செயல்களுக்கு அர்த்தமுள்ள பொறுப்புக்கூறுதலின் ஒரு வடிவம் இருக்கவேண்டியது முன்தேவையானதாகும்.

மாணிக்கலிங்கத்துடன் ஒருவர் இணங்காதுபோனாலும், நானும் கூறுவதுபோல அரசியற் தீர்வும் பொறுப்புக்கூறலும் இரண்டறக் கலந்தவை என வலியுறுத்தினாலுங்கூட, பொறுப்புக்கூறலானது அரசியற்சட்டச் சீர்திருத்தத்தைத் தொடர்ந்தே இடம்பெறவேண்டும் எனும் நிகழ்ச்சிநிரலை அவர் பரிந்துரைப்பதானது நாம் கவனத்தைச் செலுத்தவேண்டிய அம்சமாக உள்ளது. நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதியின் செயன்முறைகளை ஒழுங்குநிரைப்படுத்துவதென்பது சட்டபூர்வமானதும் பல்வேறான நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதி இலக்குகளை நோக்கியதாக அவை பரந்தளவிலே பாவிக்கப்படும் ஒரு உபாயமாகவும் இருந்துவருகிறது. 1980கள் மற்றும் 90களிலே லத்தீன் அமெரிக்காவின் வலதுசாரிச் சர்வாதிகாரத்தினர் அச்சுறுத்தலூடாக மன்னிப்புச் சட்டங்களின் மரபை விட்டுப்போனமை அல்லது புதிய அரசின் மீது அப்படியான சட்டங்களைத் திணித்தமையின் பின்புலத்திலே அதன் நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதியின் உண்மை அறியும் ஆணைக்குழுக்கள் குற்றச்செயல்களுக்கான சான்றுகளை புட்டுக்காட்டுவதற்கும், முன்னைய அடக்குமுறை ஆட்சிகளை அகௌரவப்படுத்தவும் முடிவிலே அவர்களை விசாரணைக்கு இட்டுச்செல்லவும் வழிகோலியது. மிக அண்மித்த காலங்களிலோ பல நாடுகள் வழக்கு விசாரணைகள் மற்றும் உண்மை அறியும் ஆணைக்குழு ஆகிய இரண்டையுமே சமகாலத்திலே இணைந்து இடம்பெறுவதையே விரும்பியுள்ளன.

இலங்கையிலே சிலீ நாட்டைப்போல மேற்கொள்வதற்கு எந்த ஒரு மன்னிப்புச் சட்டமும் இல்லை; அத்துடன், ஆர்ஜென்டீனாவைப்போல ஒரு இராணுவப்புரட்சிக்கான வாய்ப்புகளும் இல்லை. மாறாக, மூன்றில் இரண்டு பெரும்பான்மை பலத்தைப் பெற்றுள்ள ஒரு அரசாங்கம் – நலிந்ததாக இருந்தாலுங்கூட – அதன் தேர்தல் விஞ்ஞாபனத்திலே போர்க்குற்றங்கள் தொடர்பான விடயங்கள் தேசிய சுயாதீன நீதிப்பொறிமுறையால் கையாளப்படும் என வழங்கிய வாக்குறுதிகளூடாக ஆட்சியைப் பிடித்தது. எந்தச் செயன்முறை மேம்பட்ட முக்கியத்துவத்தைக் கொண்டுள்ளது எனும் கேள்வியைவிட இலங்கைக்கான மேலானதான உபாயக் கேள்வி எதுவெனில், எடுக்கவுள்ள செயன்முறைகளின் எந்த நிகச்ழ்சி நிரையானது அதன் விளைவீடுகளை உச்சபட்சமாக்கும் என்பதே. இதனை மனதிற்கொண்டுதான் நான் ஒரு உபாய எண்ணமாக, புதிய அரசியற்சட்டம் நாடாளுமன்றத்திலே நிறைவேற்றப்பட்ட பின்பாக அல்லாமல் அதற்கு முன்னதாக பிரதம மந்திரி பரிந்துரைத்துள்ளதுபோலவே 2016இன் நடுப்பகுதியிலே ஒரு சட்டக் கட்டமைப்பைச் சீக்கிரமாக நிலைநாட்டுவதையே ஆதரிக்கிறேன்.

முதலாவதாக, அதிகாரப் பகிர்வுடன் இடைப்படும் ஒரு புதிய அரசியற் சட்டமானது எவ்வகையிலும் முன்கூட்டிய தீர்மானமாக அமைந்துவிடாது; அரசியற் சீர்திருத்தச்சபையை நிலைநாட்டுவதிலே உள்ள செயன்முறைகள் போன்றவற்றிலேயே இடம்பெற்றுவரும் தாமதங்களையும் இழுபறிகளையும் பார்க்கையிலே, பொறுப்புக்கூறுவதை அரசியற்சட்டம் நிலைநாட்டப்படும்வரைக்கும் தரித்துநிறுத்திவைப்பதென்பது, அது எந்தக்காலத்திலுமே கருத்திற்கொள்ளப்படாமல் போவதற்கான சாத்தியங்களையே கூடுதலாகக் கொண்டுள்ளதெனலாம். நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதி நீண்டகாலம் எடுக்கும், ஆனாலும் இறுக்கமான தீர்மானங்களை அரசாங்கத்தின் அரசியல் முதலீடு உயர்வாகவும் அதனைத் தூற்றுவோர் மிகவும் பலவீனமாகவும் இருக்கும் “நிலைமாற்றுக்காலத் தருணங்களிலே” எடுப்பதுதான் உள்ளதுக்குள் மிகவும் இலகுவானது.

அரசியலமைப்புச்சட்ட சீர்திருத்தங்களைப்போல அல்லாது, பொறுப்புக்கூறலுக்கான புதிய சட்டமூலங்களுக்கு மூன்றில் இரண்டு பங்கு பெரும்பான்மையோ அல்லது பொதுஜனவாக்கெடுப்போ தேவையில்லை. இத்தப் பின்புலத்திலே, இயலுமான வேளையிலே வெற்றியைப் பெற்றுக்கொள்ள நாடும் ஞானம் நல்லதாகவே இருக்கும். சரித்திரபூர்மான ஆட்சிமாற்றம் இடம்பெற்று பதினாங்கு மாதங்கள் கடந்துவிட்டுள்ள நிலைமையிலே, நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதிக்கான சாரளங்கள் மூடப்பட ஆரம்பித்துவிட்டதுடன், நீதிப்பொறிமுறைகளை நிலைநாட்டுவதிலே உள்ள அரசியற் கஷ்டங்களும் தொடர்ச்சியாக அதிகரித்தவண்ணமே உள்ளன. இன்றிலிருந்து ஒருவருட காலத்துக்குள் பொறுப்புக்கூறல் விடயத்திலோ அல்லது சட்டச்சீர்திருத்தத்திலோ இலங்கை எவ்வித முன்னேற்றத்தையும் அடைந்திராவிட்டால் தமிழ் அரசியலின் தொனியும் தோரணையும் அதிகரித்த விரக்தியாகவும், கூர்மையான பேச்சுக்களாயும் நகர்ந்திடத்தொடங்கும். தமிழ் மிதவாதிகள் தள்ளப்பட்டுப்போவார்களேயானால், தமிழ்த் தீவிரத் தேசியத்தினர் தமது சிங்கள சகபாடிகளுக்கு இனப்பூசலை விளாசி எரியப்பண்ண வேண்டிய அளவு எண்ணையை வழங்குவதுடன், சிங்கள மிதவாதிகளின் பிடியை முடிவுக்குக் கொண்டுவரவும் வழிவகுக்கும்.

ஆனாலும், போர்க்குற்றச்செயல்களுக்கான வழக்குவிசாரணைகளுக்கான சர்ச்சைக்குரிய சட்டங்களை நிறைவேற்றும்போது அது அரசியற் தீர்வுக்கென உள்ள அரசியல் முதலீட்டினைக் குறைத்துப்போட மாட்டாதா எனச் சில கண்டன விமர்சகர்கள் கேட்கக்கூடும். தெளிவுபடுத்துவதிலே அரசுக்கு உள்ள குறைபாடும், அது நாடும் நீதிப் பொறிமுறையைப் பற்றிய அதன் செய்திகளும் எப்படிப்பார்த்தாலும் ஒரு அரசியற் செலவைப் பிழிந்தெடுப்பதுடன், சிங்கள பேரினவாதிகள் எதிர்காலத்து நீதிமன்றங்கள் பற்றிய செய்திகளைக் கட்டுப்படுத்த இடங்கொடுத்து இராணுவத்துக்கு எதிரான வேட்டையாடல் இடம்பெறப்போகிறதெனும் நியாயமற்ற அச்சங்களை மக்களிலே எழுப்பவும் வழிவகுத்துவிடுகிறது. மாணிக்கலிங்கம் கூறுவதுபோல பொறுப்புக்கூறுதல் விடயத்தை அரசு பிற்காலத்துக்காகத் தரித்துநிறுத்தி வைத்திருக்குமேயாயின், இப்படியான போக்கு மேலும் அதிகரித்து செறிவடையவும் கூடும். இந்த நிலைமைக்கான ஒரு மாற்று மருந்து எதுவெனில், அரசு தான் செய்யப்போவதைப் பற்றி மிகத் தெளிவாக இருப்பதுடன், தாமதிக்காமல் அவசியமான பொறிமுறைகளை நிலைநாட்டுவதே. ஒரு உணர்வுள்ள வழக்குரைஞர் வழக்குத் தாக்கல் செய்யும் கொள்கைகளைத் தெளிவுபடுத்துவதால், அதிர்ச்சியூட்டும் சிலவகைக் குற்றச்செயல்களுடன் சம்பந்தப்படாதவர்கள் மத்தியிலே அதுபற்றி நிலவும் அச்சங்களை நிவிர்த்திசெய்ய உதவலாம். செயற்படத் தவறி, ஒருவித அசமந்தப் போக்கினை நீடித்தால், அரசு சம்பவ நிகழ்வையும், ஆதரவையும் இழந்துபோகக்கூடிய இடராபத்தை எதிர்நோக்கியிருக்கும். பொறுப்புக்கூறலை எதிர்காலத்துக்காகத் தரித்து நிறுத்திவைக்கும் உபாயம் பிரச்சினைகளை வரத்திக்கவும் அச்சங்களைப் பெருக்கவுமே வழிவகுக்கும்.

மேற்படியான காரணங்களினிமித்தமாக, உபாயரீதியான கருதுகோள்கள் சர்வதேசக் குற்றச்செயல்களை விசாரித்து வழக்குத்தொடுப்பதற்கு அரசாங்கம் துரிதமாக வேண்டிய சட்டக் கட்டமைப்பினை உருவாக்குவதை கோரிக்கையாக விடுக்கிறதென நான் கருதுகிறேன். அதன் பக்கத்திலே தீர்க்கமான தீர்மானங்களை இது வேண்டிநிற்கிறது. அவர்கள் பலவீனத்தையும் தைரியமற்ற அச்சத்தையும் புலப்படுத்துவார்களேயாயின், நேற்றைய நாளின் பலவான்களின் கோரிக்கைகள் தொடர்ந்தும் வளரும்.

Accountability and a Political Solution: A Response to Ram Manikkalingam என்ற தலைப்பில் Groundviews தளத்தில் வௌிவந்த கட்டுரையின் தமிழாக்கம்.

Published in Tamil

In a recent article, Ram Manikkalingam – a member of the Sri Lankan President’s Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) – argues that Sri Lanka must not prioritize accountability for mass atrocity crimes until a new constitution addressing Tamil autonomy is formulated, and that international human rights advocates must stop giving precedence to war crimes trials over other forms of reconciliation. Interestingly, Manikkalingam’s advice is targeted at ‘international human rights activists who have little patience for the complex domestic politics’ of Sri Lanka, and not the many champions of devolution and accountability within the country – Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim – who continue to navigate the island’s intricate politics but nevertheless believe that progress on all fronts is necessary and possible. With respect to the demand for accountability at least, Manikkalingam is at risk of mimicking the patronizing error of those he critiques in failing to recognize that the intellectual and moral leadership in respect of the demand for accountability has long shifted from those outside to those who live and work in Sri Lanka.

Manikkalingam’s article touches two recurring debates within Transitional Justice, both of them as old as the discipline itself: first, the peace versus justice debate, and second, the question of sequencing reconciliation related measures. The article suggests that because a political solution is more important than war crimes trials, the sequence in which they are unveiled should privilege a political solution with war crimes trials coming later. In this response to his article, I claim that Manikkalingam’s dichotomization of a political solution to the national question and accountability for atrocity crimes is false, but also that in sequencing reconciliation measures, it is strategically better to establish the legal architecture to try atrocity crimes earlier rather than later.

The argument that a political solution to Sri Lanka’s national question overshadows the importance of prosecuting few perpetrators has a certain intuitive appeal. Yet, this analysis does not account for the role of unpunished atrocities in fuelling the ethnic conflict, and is therefore superficial. The Tamil political mobilization for equality in Sri Lanka predated independence and at least since independence has been consistently visited with unpunished violence in escalating degrees. Each unpunished episode of violence – what we would now call mass atrocity crimes – added fresh fuel to ethnic tensions and eventually to unhinged violence from both sides. The 1983 ethnic pogrom – indubitably the largest such attack against civilians of any ethnicity in post-independence Sri Lanka – quickly transformed a bothersome youth revolt into a full-fledged war of devastating proportions. Impunity and resulting violence, and the fear borne out of impunity, that this violence may be triggered at any time is thus at the heart of demand for autonomy. This is why Tamil politicians have insisted on the right to powers over police over and above fiscal and economic powers – control over physical security is, rightly or wrongly, perceived to be a more urgent and important concern. Thus, there can be no genuine settlement of the national question without ending impunity. The assumption that devolution alone – without accountability – is the panacea to the ethnic question ignores the reality that impunity for mass atrocities is inextricably linked to demands for autonomy, and that the political fallout of another mass atrocity cannot be controlled, and may permanently jeopardize any prospect for co-existence.

Manikkalingam’s article also ignore a central dynamic at play in Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem. A narrative of broken promises by national leaders lies at the heart of Tamil political consciousness. In this context, yet another failure to honour Sri Lanka’s recent promises on accountability would inevitably contribute to ethnic mistrust. The unilateral abrogation of the Banda-Chelva pact and the Dudley-Chelva pact by successive Sri Lankan governments, as well as other broken promised down the road figure extensively in any unbiased account of Sri Lanka’s ethnic troubles. Likewise, Sri Lanka’s commitments on accountability, now encapsulated in the latest United Nations Human Rights Council resolution of October 2015, form the basis of a political consensus between state and Tamil political leaders on how to deal with a past in which unspeakable atrocities were committed by both sides. Despite the vocal opposition of fringe elements within the Tamil polity, the leadership of the Tamil National Alliance negotiated with stakeholders on the fine print of the text and endorsed the resolution adopted by consensus in Geneva. Indeed, it has since claimed that the resolution is not merely a pact between the international community and Sri Lanka, but equally importantly as one between the State and the Tamil people. On that basis, it has called for the full implementation of its terms. If this pact is to be abrogated now, the abandoning of the Geneva resolution may one day come to be remembered with the same bitterness as the abrogation of the Banda-Chelva and Dudley-Chelva agreements.

Thus, treating the devolution question as distinct from that of accountability is analytically problematic, particularly given the specificities of the conflict in Sri Lanka. Any meaningful attempt to address the historical problems at the heart of the national question must ensure that impunity for mass atrocities is arrested, and negotiated agreements honoured. This requires some form of meaningful accountability for atrocity crimes on the lines suggested by the UNHRC resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka.

Even if one disagrees with Manikkalingam and asserts, as I do, that a political solution and accountability are inextricably linked, his prescription that accountability must be sequenced to follow constitutional reform nevertheless deserves attention. Sequencing Transitional Justice processes are a legitimate and widely used stratagem towards a variety of Transitional Justice goals. In the Latin American context of Transitional Justice in the 1980’s and 90’s, where right wing dictators either left a legacy of amnesty laws or enforced such laws on new governments through the threat of force, truth commissions helped uncover evidence of crimes and discredit former regimes, leading eventually to trials. More recently however, many countries have opted for trials and truth-commissions in tandem.

In Sri Lanka, there are no amnesty laws to overcome as in Chile and no imminent coup d’état as in the case of Argentina. Instead, a government with a two-thirds majority – albeit tenuous – holds the reigns, having promised in the Manifesto by which it came into power that the issue of justice for war crimes will be handled by national independent judicial mechanisms. The strategic question for Sri Lanka is what ordering of processes and mechanisms would optimize outcomes, rather than a question of which process has greater importance. With this in mind, I contend that the strategic considerations favour the establishment of a legal framework sooner – in mid-2016, as proposed by the Prime Minister – rather than later, after a new constitution is passed.

First, a new constitution dealing with devolution is by no means a foregone conclusion, and judging by the wrangling and delay over relatively tame issues of procedure in establishing a constitutional assembly, parking accountability till the constitution is established means a high likelihood it will never be addressed at all. Transitional Justice does take a long time, but the tough decisions are easiest taken at the ‘transitional moment’ when a government’s political capital is high and its detractors at their weakest. Unlike constitutional amendments, new laws for accountability do not require a two-thirds majority or a referendum. In this context, the wisdom of banking victories when you can makes good sense. Thirteen months down the line after a historic regime change, the window for Transitional Justice is beginning to close, and the political difficulty of establishing justice mechanisms will continue to rise. A year from now, if Sri Lanka has made no progress on accountability or on constitutional reform, the tone and timbre of Tamil politics would have shifted dramatically towards sharper rhetoric and increased frustration. If Tamil moderates are pushed out of the way, Tamil ultra-nationalists will provide their Sinhala counterparts ample fuel to end Sinhala moderates’ grip on power as well.

But critics may ask, would not the effort to pass contentious laws to enable war crimes trials reduce the available political capital for a political solution? I would claim that the government’s lack of clarity and messaging on the justice mechanisms it envisages is in any event extracting a political cost, as right-wing demagogues are provided the space to control the messaging about a future court and whip up unjustified fears of a witch-hunt against the military. This will continue, and may well intensify, even if the government parks the question of accountability for later as Manikkalingam suggests it does. One available antidote to this syndrome is for the government to be absolutely clear about what it intends to do, and establish the necessary mechanisms without delay. A sensible prosecutor could help allay fears by laying out a prosecutorial policy that makes clear to those not implicated in certain types of egregious crimes that they will not be harmed. In failing to act and projecting passivity, the government risks losing the narrative and losing support. A strategy of parking the issue for the future will only compound the problem and magnify fears.

Third, even if set up now, judicial processes including a special counsel for prosecutions will only lead to trials long after the deadline for constitution making has passed. Prosecutions of complex crimes take years to prepare, and if legislation is passed in 2016, the chances of controversial indictments and trials within the year or even early next year are vanishingly small.

For these reasons, I contend that strategic considerations demand the government move quickly to create the necessary legal framework for the trials of international crimes. This requires decisive action on its part. In this regard, the President and Prime Minister should take comfort in the fact that they have looked their political best when acting decisively. Instead, if they project weakness and timorous apprehension, the appeal of yesterday’s strong men will continue to grow.

Published in English

ආචාර්ය දයාන් ජයතිලක මහතා විසින් මෑතකදී පල කරන ලද ලිපි කිහිපයක මෙන්ම විවිධ මාධ්‍යයන් සමඟ කල සම්මුඛ සාකච්ඡා වලදී සඳහන් කර තිබුනේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පිලිබඳ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ වාර්තාව ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට දැඩි තර්ජනයක් එල්ල කර ඇති බවයි. එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ වරනීයතාවය සහ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අධිකරණ පද්ධතියේ තත්වය පිලිබඳ ඔහු විසින් තර්ක කිහිපයක්ම ඉදිරිපත් කර තිබිණ. ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පිලිබඳ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ වාර්තාව, එහි නිර්දේශයන් මෙන්ම අනාගත දේශීය වැඩපිළිවෙලක් වේනම් ඒ සියල්ල පිළිබඳව ගැඹුරින් විවාද කල යුතුය. එහෙත් එවැනි සංවාද කල යුත්තේ කරුණු මත පදනම් වෙමින් අප රටේ නීති පද්ධතිය සහ ලෝකයේ වෙනත් රටවල සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය පසිඳලීම සිදු කර ඇති ආකාර පිලිබඳ මනා අවබෝධයක් ඇතිවය.

මිශ්‍ර අධිකරණයක් පිහිටුවීම, පාලනය විදේශිකයන්ට පැවරීමකට සමාන වේ.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පිලිබඳව, මානව හිමිකම් පිලිබඳ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහ කොමසාරිස් කාර්යාලය ඉදිරිපත් කල වාර්තාව නිර්දේශ කරන ලද්දේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුල “තත් කාර්ය” විශේෂ මිශ්‍ර අධිකරණයක් පිහිටුවිය යුතු බවයි. එහෙත් ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ සම අනුග්‍රහය ඇතිව ඉදිරිපත් කල එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේ යෝජනාවේ “මිශ්‍ර” යන වචනය භාවිත කර නොමැත. ඒ වෙනුවට පොදු රාජ්‍ය මණ්ඩලීය හෝ විදේශීය විනිසුරුවරුන්, පැමිණිලි මෙහෙයවන්නන්, විත්තියේ නීතිඥවරුන් සහ විමර්ශන නිලධාරීන්ගේ සහභාගිත්වය සහිත අධිකරණ යාන්ත්‍රණයක් පිහිටුවීමට රජය එකඟතාවය පල කළේය.

යම් ක්‍රියාවලියක් හඳුන්වන්නේ “මිශ්‍ර අධිකරණයක්” ලෙසින්ද එසේ නොවේනම් “විශේෂ නීති උපදේශක කාර්යාලයක්” ලෙසින්ද යන්න අදාල නොවේ. මිශ්‍ර අධිකරණයක් යන්නට නිශ්චිත නිර්වචනයක් නැත. මෙතෙක් කල් පිහිටුවා තිබු සෑම මිශ්‍ර අධිකරණයක්ම රටෙහි ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවට අනුකුල වන පරිදි පිහිටුවා තිබිණ. බොහෝවිට ඒවා දේශීයව පනතක් සම්මත කිරීම මගින් පිහිටවනු ලැබීය.

ආචාර්ය දයාන් ජයතිලක මහතාගේ උපකල්පනයට අනුව මිශ්‍ර අධිකරණයේ කටයුතු සඳහා විදේශිකයන් සහභාගි වීම නිසා කිසිදු විවාදයකින් තොරව මෙම මිශ්‍ර අධිකරණය විදේශිකයන්ගේ පාලනයට යටත් වනු ඇත. එනම් එවැනි යාන්ත්‍රනයක් පිහිටුවීම එහි යතුරු විදේශිකයන්ට පැවරීමක් වනු ඇති බවයි. ආචාර්ය දයාන් ජයතිලකයන් පමණක් නොව තවත් බොහෝ දේශපාලකයන් සහ විචාරකයන්ද අනුමාන කර ඇත්තේ අන්තර්ජාතික සහභාගිත්වය තිබු පමණින් එය මුලුමනින්ම විදේශිකයන්ගේ පාලනයට නතු වනු ඇති බවයි.

එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේ යෝජනාව හොදින් කියවා බැලු විට මෙය සැබෑවක් නොවන බව මානව පැහැදිලි වේ. ඕනෑම විශේෂ අධිකරණයක් පිහිටු වනු ලබන්නේ ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජය මගිනි. ශ්‍රී ලංකා ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ 105(1)(ඇ) වගන්තිය යටතේ, ශ්‍රී ලංකා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට සාමාන්‍ය බහුතරයක් සහිතව පනතක් සම්මත කිරීමෙන් අධිකරණයක් හෝ විනිශ්චය සභාවක් පිහිටුවිය හැකිය. එමනිසා අධිකරණයේ අධිකරණ බලය, ව්‍යුහය සහ රාමුව ශ්‍රී ලංකා පාර්ලිමේන්තුව මගින් තීරණය කෙරේ. උදාහරණයක් ලෙස අධිකරණයට පත් කරන විනිසුරුවරුන් ගණන සහ අභියාචනා ක්‍රියාවලිය පිලිබඳ තීරණය වන්නේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවෙන් සම්මත කරන පනතක් මගිනි.

එසේම එකී අධිකරණයට කරනු ලබන විදේශීය නිලධාරීන් ඇතුළු පත්කිරීම් සියල්ල සිදු කරනු ලබන්නේ ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජය විසිනි. එලෙස පත් කරනු ලබන
සියලු නිලධාරීන්ගේ කාර්යභාරයන්, බලතලයන්,ගෙවීම් ඇතුළු සේවාව සම්බන්ධ සියලු නියමයන් හා කොන්දේසි පැනවීමද තීරණය කරනු ලබන්නේ ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජය විසිනි.

වඩා වැදගත් වන්නේ පිහිටුවනු ලබන ඕනෑම අධිකරණ ක්‍රියාවලියක් ස්වාධීන වීම, අපක්ෂපාති වීම සහ ඊට යටත් වන කාර්යභාරය ඉටු කිරීම සඳහා අවශ්‍ය කරන දැනුමෙන් කුසලතාවයෙන් හා අත්දැකීම් වලින් යුක්ත වීමයි. නිදහසින් පසු ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ නීති පද්ධතිය තුල විදේශීය සහභාගිත්වය අලුත් දෙයක් නොවේ. නිදහසින් පසු මුල් වසර 24 තුල ප්‍රිවි කවුන්සිලය ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අධිකරණ පද්ධතියේ කොටසක්ව පැවතින.

ප්‍රිවි කවුන්සිලය බ්‍රිතාන්‍ය විනිසුරුවරුන්ගෙන් සැදුම් ලත් එකක් විය. එම කාලයේදී එය ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ නිදහසට තර්ජනයක් ලෙස සැලකුනේ නැත. මෑතකදී නිහාල් ජයවික්‍රම තර්ක කල පරිදි නිදහසින් වසර 8කට පසුත් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව සතුව මිශ්‍ර ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයක් පැවතින. නිදහසින් පසු මුල් වසර අට තුල ශ්‍රී ලාංකික නොවන විනිසුරුවරුන් තිදෙනෙක් ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයේ සේවය කලෝය. ඒහා සමානවම බණ්ඩාරනායක ඝාතනයේ සහ ජනාධිපති ප්‍රේමදාස ඝාතනයේ විමර්ශන වලටද විදේශීය විශේෂඥයින් මැදිහත් වුහ. එසේම ඩෙන්සිල් කොබ්බැකඩුව මහතාගේ මරණය සම්බන්ධ විමර්ශනයේදීද විදේශීය විනිසුරුවන් සහභාගී වුහ.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අධිකරණ පද්ධතියේ තත්වය

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨ අතීතයක් තිබුනේ යයි තර්ක කිරීමට ආචාර්ය දයාන් ජයතිලකයන් උත්සහ ගනී. අනිවාර්යන්ම ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ඇතැම් ආයතන වලට ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨ ඉතිහාසයක් තිබී ඇත. කෙසේ වෙතත් ඒවායේ වර්තමාන තත්වය එහි අතීතය පිළිබිඹු නොකරයි. සත්‍ය ලෙසම දයාන් ජයතිලක මහතා පවසන පරිදි ශ්‍රී ලංකාවෙන් සී.ජී. වීරමන්ත්‍රී විනිසුරුතුමා වැනි ඉතාම විශ්වසනීය සහ ගෞරවාන්විත විනිසුරුවරුන් බිහි වී ඇත. කණගාටුවට කරුණක් වන්නේ මෙවැනි ගෞරවාන්විත සේවාවන් ඉටු කල විනිසුරුවරුන්ගේ සේවය, ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය නීති පද්ධතියේ පිලිබිඹුවක් නොවීමයි. එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් වාර්තාවේ විශේෂයෙන් සඳහන්ආකාරයට, හිටපු නීතිපති මොහාන් පීරිස් මහතා , මාධ්‍යාවේදී ප්‍රගීත් එක්නැලිගොඩ මහතා පැහැරගෙන යාමේ සිද්ධිය සම්බන්ධව ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අධිකරණයට පමණක් නොව එක්සත්ජාතීන්ගේ කෘර වද හිංසා වලට එරෙහි වීමේ කමිටුවටද අසත්‍ය කරුණු දක්වා ඇත. මෑතකදී තවත් ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණ විනිසුරුවරයෙකු සිය මෙහෙකාරියට හිංසා කිරීමට එරෙහිව සැකපිට අත්අඩංගුවට ගන්නා ලදී.

19 වන ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනය ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අධිකරණ පද්ධතිය මුහුණ පා සිටි ගැටළු රැසකට විසදුම් සපයයි.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අධිකරණ පද්ධතියට එරෙහිව ඉදිරිපත් වන ඕනෑම චෝදනාවකට පිළිතුරු සැපයීමට 19 වන ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනය මගින් හැකියාව ලැබී ඇති බවට තර්ක කිරීමට ආචාර්ය දයාන් ජයතිලක මහතා උත්සාහ ගෙන ඇත. මීට හේතුවන්නට ඇත්තේ එක්කෝ ඔහු 19 වන ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනයේ ඇත්තේ මොනවද යන්න නොදැනීම හෝ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අධිකරණ පද්ධතිය මුහුණ දෙන ගැටළු මොනවද යන්න නොදැනීමයි.

19 වන ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනය මගින් ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයට, අභියාචනාධිකරණයට සහ අධිකරණ සේවා කොමිෂන් සභාවට මෙන්ම පොලිස් කොමිසමට සිදුකරන පත්වීම් තීරණය කෙරෙන ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා සභාව යලි පිහිටුවා ඇත. එම නිසා අනාගතයේ පත් වන විනිසුරුවරුන් සහ ඉහල පොලිස් නිලධාරීන් තෝර ගැනීම්හි ස්වාධීනත්වය ඉහල යනු ඇතැයි අනිවාර්යෙන්ම තර්ක කල හැකිය.

කෙසේවෙතත් අවධාරනය කර ගත යුත්තේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ නීති පද්ධතියේ ඇති ගැටලුව අධිකරණයේ ස්වාධීනත්වය පිලිබඳ ගැටලුව පමණක් නොවන බවයි. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අපරාධ යුක්තිය පිලිබඳ වන සෑම පියවරක්ම ගැටළු සහිතය. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අපරාධ නීති පද්ධතිය මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය වීම පිලිබඳ කටයුතු කිරීමට තරම් ශක්තිමත් නැත. පොලිස් පරීක්ෂණයන් නිසි පරිදි ස්වාධීනව ක්‍රියාත්මක වන්නේ නැත. වින්දිතයන් සහ සාක්ෂිකරුවන්ට ප්‍රමාණවත් තරම් ආරක්ෂාව ලැබෙන්නේද නැත. මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය වීම් වලට සම්බන්ධ වූ නිලධාරීන්ට එරෙහිව සාර්ථකව නඩු පැවරීම පිලිබඳ නීතිපති දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව ඉටු කර ඇති සේවය ගුණාත්මක බවින් ඉතා පහල මට්ටමක් පෙන්නුම් කර තිබේ.

මානව හිමිකම් වාර්තාවේ විශේෂයෙන් සඳහන් කර තිබු ආකාරයට ලෝකයේ දෙවනුවට වැඩිම සංඛ්‍යාවක් බලහත්කාරයෙන් පැහැරගෙන ගොස් අතුරුදන් කිරීමේ සිද්ධීන් ගණනක් වාර්තාවේ ඇත්තේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවෙනි. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ වෙසෙන සුළු ප්‍රමාණයක් වූ ජනගහනය සමග සාපේක්ෂව බැලූ කල එම සංඛ්‍යාව ඉතා ඉහල අගයකි. අද දක්වාම මෙවැනි බලහත්කාරයෙන් පැහැරගෙන ගොස් අතුරුදන් කිරීම් පිළිබඳව විමර්ශනය කර නඩු පැවරීමට ගෙන ඇති ක්‍රියාමාර්ග ඉතා අල්පය. එසේම ශ්‍රී ලංකාව සතුව දශකයකට වඩා පැරණි කෘර වද හිංසා කිරීම් සාපරාධී ක්‍රියා ලෙස හඳුනාගත් පනතක් තිබුනද, ඒ යටතේ සාර්ථකව පැමිණිලි මෙහෙයවා අවසන් කර ඇති නඩු ගණන 10කටත් අඩුය.

19 වන ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනයෙන් පසුවද ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අපරාධ යුක්ති ක්‍රියාවලියේ මෙවැනි ගැටළු තවමත් නොවිසඳී පවතී. රාජපක්ෂ පාලන සමයේදී මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය කිරීම් හෝ මුල්‍ය අපරාධ සිදු කරඇත්ද යන කරුණු පිලිබඳව කෙරෙන විමර්ශනහි වර්තමාන තත්වය ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අපරාධ යුක්තිය ඉටු කිරීමේ ක්‍රියාවලියේ දුර්වලතා පැහැදිලිව දක්වයි. තවදුරත් හිටපු එල්.ටි.ටි.ඊ නායක කරුණා අම්මාන්ට විරුද්ධව නඩු පැවරීමට තවමත් නොහැකි වීම සහ ඇවන්ට් ගාඩ් සිද්ධිය යට යාම මීට උදාහරණ සේ දැක්විය.

එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහ ලේකම්වරයාට මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා දුන් පොරොන්දුව.

ආචාර්ය දයාන් ජයතිලක මහතා හොව දක්වන්නේ මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා සහ මහා ලේකම් බැන්කි මූන් මහතා අතර අත්සන් තැබූ ඒකාබද්ධ ප්‍රකාශයෙන් පොරොන්දු වුයේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුල වගවීම සදහා අවශ්‍ය ක්‍රියාමාර්ග ගැනීමට පමණක් බවයි. ඔහුගේ තර්කය වන්නේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාව කිසිසේත්ම වගවීම පිලිබඳ යාන්ත්‍රණයක් ඇති කිරීමට එකඟ වුයේ නැති බවයි. එය ව්‍යාජ තර්කයකි. ඒකාබද්ධ ප්‍රකාශය “ක්‍රියාමාර්ග” යන්න නිර්වචනය නොකිරීම පිළිබඳව ආචාර්ය දයාන් ජයතිලකයන් නිවැරදිය. එහෙත් එවැනි ඕනෑම ක්‍රියාමාර්ගයක් විශ්වසනීය, ස්වාධීන හා අර්ථ සම්පන්න විය යුතු බව ව්‍යංගයෙන් එහි අඩංගු බව බැහැර කල නොහැක. පැහැදිලිව කිවතොත් අන්තර්ජාතික නීතියට අනුව බරපතල මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය කිරීම් පිළිබඳව වග වීමට ගන්න ක්‍රියාමාර්ග අතරට කාර්යක්ෂම,විශ්වසනීය හා ස්වාධීන විමර්ශනයන් මෙහෙයවීම මෙන්ම නඩු පැවරීමද අවශ්‍ය වේ.

රාජපක්ෂ රෙජීමය උගත් පාඩම් හා ප්‍රතිසන්ධාන කොමිසමත් අතුරුදන් වුවන් පිලිබඳ කොමිසමත් පිහිට වූ බව සැබෑය. එහෙත් ඉන් එකක්වත් විශ්වසනීය
වුයේවත් ස්වාධීන වුයේ වත් නැත. එක්සත්ජාතීන්ගේ වාර්තාව සවිස්තරව දක්වන ආකාරයට, යුද්ධය අවසන් සමයේදී සිදුවූ ඉතා බරපතල ගනයේ අපරාධ පිළිබඳව සත්‍ය තොරතුරු වාර්තා කිරීමට උගත් පාඩම් හා ප්‍රතිසන්ධාන කොමිසම අසමත් විය. උදාහරණයක් ලෙස යුද්ධයේ අවසන් සමයේ වන්නි ප්‍රදේශයේ ජනතාවට අවශ්‍යතරම් මානුෂීය ආධාර සැපයීමට රජය ප්‍රමාණවත් පියවර ගත බව වාර්තාවේ සඳහන් වුවද එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ වාර්තාවේ සොයාගැනීම් වලට අනුව වන්නි ජනතාවට ආධාර ලබා දීමේදී රජය විසින් සිතාමතාම ආධාර අවශ්‍ය ජන සංඛ්‍යාව අඩුවෙන් ගණන් බලා සැබෑ ගණන 284,000 පමණ වන විට ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇත්තේ 70,000කට මානුෂීය ආධාර අවශ්‍ය බවයි.

එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ වාර්තාව අසාධාරණ ලෙස ශ්‍රී ලංකාව ඉලක්ක කර ඇත.

මහ කොමසාරිස්වරයා ශ්‍රී ලංකාව “එක් සුවිශේෂී සිද්ධියක්” බවට කල ප්‍රකාශය මත ආචාර්ය ජයතිලකයන් බොහෝ දේ කියා ඇත. මහා කොමසාරිස් වරයා ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පිලිබඳ වාර්තාව ඊටම “ආවේනික” වූ එකක් බව කී බව සත්‍යයකි. ඊට හේතුවුයේ විමර්ශනයක් පැවැත්වෙන අතරතුර ආණ්ඩු මාරු වීමත් වාර්තාව ප්‍රමාද කිරීමට මහා කොමසාරිස් කාර්යාලය එකඟ වීමත් සිදු වූ පළමු අවස්ථාව මෙය වීමයි.

ආචාර්ය ජයතිලකයන් තර්ක කර ඇත්තේ මානව හිමිකම් පිලිබඳ මහා කොමසාරිස් කාර්යාලය ශ්‍රී ලංකාව වෙන් කොට වෙනස් සේ සලකමින් අසාධාරණයක් සිදු කරන බවයි. සියල්ලටම පළමුවෙන්ම අවබෝධ කර ගත යුත්තේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට අනෙක් රටවල වැරදි වලට මුවාවී තම වැරදි වසා ගත නොහැකි බවයි. ආචාර්ය ජයතිලකයන්ගේ තර්කයට අනුව ශ්‍රී ලංකාව වෙනත් රටක් අත්පත් කරගැනීම හෝ වෙනත් රටක හමුදාවක් පරාජය කිරීම සිදු කර නැත. එසේම මහ කොමසාරිස් කාර්යාලය ලිබියාව සහ සිරියාව වැනි වෙනත් රටවල් පිළිබඳව කටයුතු කර නැති බවද ඔහුගේ තර්කයට ඇතුලත්ය. එහෙත් මෙය පැහැදිලිවම අසත්‍යයකි. එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ ආරක්ෂක කවුන්සිලය ලිබියාවේ තත්වය අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ අධිකරණයට යොමු කර තිබේ.

ලිබියාවේ හිටපු නායක මොහොමඩ් ගඩාෆිගේ පුත් සෛෆ් ගඩාෆිට විරුද්ධව අධි චෝදනා ගොනු කර ඇත. ලිබියාවේ සිදුවූ දරුණු ගනයේ මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය වීම් පිළිබඳව මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලය විසින් විමර්ශන වාර්තා දෙකක් ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇත. තවත් විමර්ශනයක් සිදු වෙමින් පවතී. එසේම මේ
වන විට සිරියාවේ මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය වීම් පිළිබඳව වාර්තා දහයක් මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලය විසින් ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇත.

එසේම පසු ගිය සතියේ මානව හිමිකම් මහ කොමසාරිස්වරයා විසින් ඇමරිකා එක්සත් ජනපදය ඇෆ්ගනිස්ථානයේ කුන්දුස් හි පිහිටි රෝහලට එල්ල කල ප්‍රහාරය හෙලා දකිමින් ප්‍රකාශයක් නිකුත් කළේය. හෙතෙම වැඩි දුරටත් එම ප්‍රහාරය පිලිබඳ විනිවිද භාවයෙන් යුත් පූර්ණ කඩිනම් විමර්ශනයක් සිදු කිරීමේ අවශ්‍යතාවය දක්වා සිටියේය.

එක්සත් ජාතීන් විසින් මිශ්‍ර අධිකරණයක් නිර්දේශ කරන පළමු අවස්ථාව.

කැම්බෝඩියාව, නැගෙනහිර ටිමෝරය ඇතුළු රටවල් කිහිපයකටම එක්සත් ජාතීන් විසින් මිශ්‍ර අධිකරණ නිර්දේශ කර තිබේ. බොහෝ විට එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ වාර්තාවන් නිර්දේශ කරන්නේ රටවල් අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ අධිකරණයට යොමු කල යුතු බවයි.

උතුරු කොරියාව, ඩාෆුර්, ලිබියාව, සිරියාව සහ අත්පත් කරගෙන සිටින පලස්තීන දේශ සීමාව ඇතුළු දරුණු ගනයේ මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංගනය වීමේ සිද්ධීන් රැසක් පිළිබඳව මානව හිමිකම් මහ කොමසාරිස් කාර්යාලය විමර්ශනයන් සිදු කර ඇත. උතුරු කොරියාව, ඩාෆුර් සහ සිරියාව පිලිබඳ විමර්ශන වාර්තා මගින් එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ ආරක්ෂක කවුන්සිලයට මෙම සිද්ධීන් අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ අධිකරණයට වාර්තා කරන ලෙස දැනුම් දී තිබේ. එසේම දේශීය වගවීමේ යාන්ත්‍රණයක් තහවුරු කිරීමට ඊශ්‍රායල රජය අපොහොසත් වුවහොත් සිද්ධිය අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ අධිකරණයට යොමු කිරීමට අත්පත් කරගෙන සිටින පලස්තීන දේශ සීමාව පිළිබඳව එක්සත්ජාතීන් නිකුත් කල ගෝල්ඩ් ස්ටෝන් විමර්ශන වාර්තාව නිර්දේශ කර ඇත.

කෙසේවෙතත් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පිලිබඳ වාර්තාව ශ්‍රී ලංකවට එරෙහිව එවැනි නිර්දේශයක් ඉදිරිපත් කර නැත. අවම වශයෙන් මහ කොමසාරිස්වරයා විසින් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පිලිබඳ තත්වය ආරක්ෂක කවුන්සිලයට ඉදිරිපත් කලයුතු යයි යනුවෙන් යෝජනාවක්වත් මෙහි අඩංගු නොවේ. ඒ වෙනුවට ශ්‍රී ලංකාව විසින් ඔවුන්ගේම දේශීය අධිකරණ යාන්ත්‍රණයක් පිහිටුවා ගත යුතු බවට එමගින් නිර්දේශ කර තිබේ. වාර්තාවේ 1245 වන පරිච්ඡේදයේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාව සතුව විදග්ධ අධිකරණ පද්ධතියක් ඇති බව පැහැදිලිව දක්වා තිබේ. එහෙත් එවන් විදග්ධ අධිකරණ පද්ධතියකට වුවද අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ විමර්ශනයට ශක්‍යතාවයක් නොමැත. ඊට හේතු වන්නේ අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ පිලිබඳ නඩු මෙහෙයවීමට විශේෂඥ දැනුම, කුසලතා සහ අත්දැකීම් අවශ්‍ය වීමයි.

විශ්වීය අධිකරණබලය පිලිබඳ නිර්දේශයන්

මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනයට වගකිවයුත්තන්ට විරුද්ධව විමර්ශන පවත්වා නඩු පැවරීමට එක්සත් ජාතීන් විසින් සිය සාමාජික රටවල් උනන්දු කරවමින් දක්වා තිබු ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පිලිබඳ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ වාර්තාවේ 36 වන නිර්දේශය පිළිබඳවත් ආචාර්ය ජයතිලකයන් කරුණු දක්වා ඇත. මෙයද ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පිලිබඳ වාර්තාවට පමණක් ආවේනික වූ වෙනස්ම නිර්දේශයක් නොවේ. පුරවැසියන් නොවන පුද්ගලයන් වෙනත් රටවලදී කරන අපරාධයන් සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඔවුනට එරෙහිව අධිකරණ ක්‍රියාමාර්ග ගැනීමට ඇති බලය හෙවත් විශ්වීය අධිකරණ බලය යන්න ස්පාඤ්ඤ වැනි රටවල් කිහිපයක් පිළිගත් නීතිමය සංකල්පයකි. ඩාෆුර් විමර්ශන වාර්තාව ඇතුළු එක්සත්ජාතීන්ගේ වෙනත් විමර්ශන වාර්තා වලද මෙවැනි නිර්දේශ අඩංගු වේ.

විශ්වීය අධිකරණ බලය එක්සත්ජාතීන්ගේ කිසිදු මැදිහත් වීමකින් තොරව භාවිත කල හැකිය. එක්සත් ජාතීන් විසින් නිර්දේශ කලද නොකලද යම් රටක් විශ්වීය අධිකරණබලය පිළිගන්නේ නම් ඔවුනට වෙනත් රටක සිදු වූ අපරාධ පිළිබඳව විමර්ශන පවත්වා නඩු පැවරිය හැකිය. අතීතයේදී ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුල එල්.ටි.ටි.ඊ.ය විසින් සිදු කල මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනයට එරෙහිව කැනඩාව සහ නෙදර්ලන්තය විසින් මෙම විශ්වීය අධිකරණබලය භාවිත කරමින් දේශ සීමාවෙන් පිටත අධිකරණබලය ක්‍රියාත්කිරීම පිලිබඳ වගන්ති යටතේ විමර්ශන පවත්වා නඩු පැවරීය.

රටවල් විසින් දේශීය වගවීමේ යාන්ත්‍රණයන් පිහිටුවාගත් අවස්ථාවලදී එසේ කර ඇත්තේ ගැටුම් අවසන් වී වසර 30කට පමණ පසුවයි.

ආචාර්ය ජයතිලකයන් තව දුරටත් සඳහන් කරන්නේ යුද්ධයකින් පසු රටවල් විසින් දේශීය වගවීමේ යාන්ත්‍රණයන් පිහිටුවාගෙන ඇත්තේ ගැටුම් අවසන් වී වසර 30-40කට පමණ පසුව බවයි. මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය වී දශක ගණනාවකට පසු ඒ පිලිබඳ විමර්ශන සිදු කල අවස්ථා පිලිබඳ බැලූ විට මෙම ප්‍රකාශය නිවැරදිය. කෙසේවෙතත් දයාන් ජයතිලක මහතා ලතින් අමරිකාව උදාහරණයක් ලෙස ගෙන මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය වීම් පිලිබඳ විමර්ශනයට හා නඩු පැවරීමසිදු කරන්නේ ඒවා සිදු වී වසර 30, 40ක් ගත වූ පසු බව දක්වයි. මෙය කරුණුමය වශයෙන් නිවැරදි නොවේ.

උදාහරනයක් ලෙස චිලි රාජ්‍යයේ ජෙනෙරල් පිනොශේගේ රෙජීමය අවසන් වුයේ 1989 වසරේදීයි. එම වසරේදීම (1989) ජනාධිපති ඇල්වින් විසින් බලහත්කාරයෙන් පැහැරගෙන ගොස් අතුරුදන් කිරීම් පිලිබඳ විමර්ශනයට සත්‍ය විමර්ශන කොමිසමක් පත් කළේය. සත්‍ය විමර්ශන කොමිසමේ සොයා ගැනීම් වසර 2කට පසුව 1991 වසරේදී නිකුත් කෙරිණි. ජෙනරාල් පිනොශේගේ පාලනය බිඳ වැටි වසර 9කට පසු බ්‍රිතාන්‍යයේදී ඔහුව අත්අඩංගුවට ගැනිණි.

ඒ හා සමානවම ආර්ජන්ටිනාවේ මිලිටරි ජුන්ටාවන්ගේ පරාජයත් සමගම ඇෆ්ලොන්සින් ජනාධිපතිතුමා සිදු කල මුල්ම කටයුතු කිහිපයෙන් එකක් වූයේ මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනයවීම් පිලිබඳ විමර්ශනයට සත්‍ය විමර්ශන කොමිසමක් පත් කිරීමයි. මිලිටරි ජුන්ටවන්ගේ කඩා වැටී මෙන් වසර දෙකකට පසු එනම් 1985 වසරේදී සත්‍ය විමර්ශන කොමිසමේ සොයා ගැනීම් මත පදනම්ව හමුදා නායකයන්ට එරෙහි පළමු නඩු කිහිපය විමසීම ආරම්භ කරන අප විසින් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පිලිබඳ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ වාර්තාව පිලිබඳ විවාද කල යුතුයි. එසේම ශ්‍රී ලංකාව ඊට දැක්වූ ප්‍රතිචාරයද අප විවාදයට බඳුන් කල යුතුයි. එහෙත් අප විසින් කරන මේ සියලු සංවාදයන් නිවැරදි තොරතුරු මත පදනම්ව නිසි අවබෝධයෙන් කල යුතුයි.

Published in Sinhala

இலங்கை பற்றி வெளியிடப்பட்ட ஐ.நா. விசாரணை அறிக்கையானது யுத்தத்தால் பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கு, குறிப்பாக வடக்கு மற்றும் கிழக்கைச் சேர்ந்தவர்களுக்கு பெரும் நம்பிக்கையைத் தருவிப்பதாய் உள்ளது. ஜெனீவாவில் நடைபெற்ற ஊடக மாநாட்டிலே உயர்ஸ்தானிகர் செயிட்டால் ஐ.நா. அறிக்கை வெளியிடப்பட்டபோது நான் மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையிலே பிரசன்னமாகியிருந்தேன். இலங்கைக்கு எதிராக வலிமையான ஒரு பிரேரணைக்கு இலங்கையை இணங்கச்செய்ய அழுத்தம் கொடுக்கும்படி நாடுகளிடையே பரப்புரை செய்யும்படியாக பிரசன்னமாகியிருந்த பாதிக்கப்பட்டோர்களிடையே பெருகிய உணர்வலைகள் வெற்றியையும் ஆறுதலையும் விளைவாக்கியது; சுவாசத்தையும் வழங்கியது. இறுதியாக அவர்களது ஆறாத்துன்ப துயரங்கள் அங்கீகரிக்கப்பெற்றதுடன், அதற்கான தீர்வும் கண்தொலைதூரத்துள் வந்துவிட்டது. மிகவும் முக்கியமாக உயர் ஸ்தானிகரின் அறிக்கையானது இலங்கையின் உள்ளகப் பொறிமுறையானது நம்பக்கூடியதல்ல என்பதையும் நீதியை உறுதிப்படுத்தும் தகைமை அதற்கு இல்லை என்பதையும் தெளிவுபடுத்தியிருக்கின்றது. இதனாலேதான் சர்வதேச நீதிபதிகள், சட்டத்தரணிகள், விசாரணையாளர்கள் மற்றும் வழக்குத்தொடுப்போர் உள்ளடங்கியதான ஒரு கலப்பு நீதிமன்றத்தை உயர் ஸ்தானிகர் பரிந்துரைத்துள்ளார். வெளியுறவு அமைச்சரான மங்கள சமரவீர பேரவையிலே ஆற்றிய உரையும் தமிழ் மக்களைச் சென்றடைந்தது. அவர் கடந்த காலத்துத் தவறுகளைப் பற்றியும், தமிழ் மக்களின் மனக்குறைகளுக்கு ஒரு அரசியற்தீர்வின் அவசியத்தைப் பற்றியும் பேசியிருந்தார். இதுவரைக்கும் அரசு இந்த அறிக்கையை உத்தியோகபூர்வமாக நிராகரிக்கவில்லை. இப்படியான விருத்தியாக்கங்கள் யாவும் முன்னேற்றங்கலாகவே கருதப்படவேண்டும்.

விரைவிலே ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளப்படவுள்ள பிரேரணை பற்றி அரசு எடுத்துள்ள தீவிர நிலைப்பாட்டினால் இந்த முன்னேற்றங்கள் சவாலிடப்பட்டுள்ளது. இப்படியான ஒரு நிலைப்பாடானது வெளியுறவு அமைச்சரின் உரைக்கு அமைவற்றதாக இருப்பதாகவே தென்படுகிறது. ஆயினும், இந்த நிலைப்பாடானது அரசின் உத்தியோகபூர்வ கொள்கையைப் பிரதிபலிக்காமல், அதன் பேரம் பேசும் ஒரு யுக்தியாக இருந்திருக்கக்கூடும். எது எவ்வாறிருப்பினும், ஜெனீவா பேச்சுவார்த்தைகளில் கலந்துகொண்டவர்களுக்கு, இறுதியிலே ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளப்படவுள்ள தீர்மானமானது வெளிநாட்டு நீதிபதிகள், சட்டத்தரணிகள், விசாரணையாளர்கள் மற்றும் வழக்குத் தொடுப்போர்கள் பற்றிய குறிப்புக்களை உள்ளடக்கியதாகவே இருக்கும் என்பது தெளிவு. இது நிறைவேற்றப்படுமேயாயின், போர்க் குற்றங்கள் மற்றும் மனித குலத்துக்கு எதிரான குற்றச்செயல்கள் போன்றவற்றுக்கான நீதியெனும் முக்கியமான மைல்கல்லாக, இலங்கைக்குச் சுதந்திரம் கிடைத்த காலம் தொடக்கம் எய்தப்பட்டிராததான ஒரு மைல்கல்லாக அது இருக்கும். இந்தத் தீர்மானத்திலே ஏனைய பகுதிகள் ஒருவேளை பலவீனப்படுத்தப்பட்டாலுங்கூட, மிகவும் முக்கியமான பகுதி, சர்வசேத நீதிபதிகள், சட்டத்தரணிகள் மற்றும் விசாரணையாளர்களின் பங்கேற்பாகும். வெற்றி கைக்கெட்டிய தொலைவிலேயே உள்ளது. அது எய்தப்படுவதை உறதிப்படுத்தும்படியாக நாம் கடினமாக உழைக்கவேண்டும்.

இந்த அறிக்கையில் இருந்து நாம் கற்றுக்கொள்ளவேண்டிய செய்திகள் என்ன? முதலாவது, ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளப்படக்கூடிய ஆனாலும் கொள்கைப்படியான செயற்பாடானது நடைமுறைச்சாத்தியமற்ற காரியங்களைக் கோருவதைவிட மேலானது. ஒரு சிலர் அதாவது ஆள்மனதிலே ஊறுபடுத்தப்பட்ட பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்கள், அவர்களுக்கு நெருக்கமான சில செயற்பாட்டாளர்களும் அரசியல்வாதிகளும் நடைமுறைச்சாத்தியமற்ற கோரிக்கைகளை விடுக்கும்போது தமது எதிர்பார்ப்பு மட்டங்களையும் உயர்த்திக் கொள்வதுண்டு. உதாரணமாக, சர்வதேசக் குற்றவியல் நீதிமன்றத்துக்கு இலங்கையை அனுப்பும்படியான கோரிக்கைய முன்வைத்து அதற்கு ஆதரவாக மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்ட கையெழுத்துச் சேகரிக்கும் பிரச்சாரமானது, நீதியை எய்துவதிலே ஒரு துளி பங்களிப்புத்தன்னும் செய்யவில்லை. ஆனால், அது பாதிக்கப்பட்ட பாமரர்களிடையே எதிர்பார்ப்பை உயர்த்தி, அவர்களை எப்போதுமே மனமடியச்செய்வதையே சாத்தித்தது. பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களை நிரந்தரமாக மனமடிவுற்ற நிலைமையிலே வைத்திருப்பது ஒருசில அரசியல்வாதிகளுக்கு நன்மை பயப்பதாக இருக்கக்கூடும். ஆயினும், பல்வேறு கட்டுரைவாயிலாக நான் சுட்டிக்காட்டிதைப்போன்று, பாதிகப்பட்டவர்கள் மற்றும் பாதிப்புற்றோர் சமூகங்கள் தமது நம்பிக்கைகளைத் தளரவிடாமல், நீதிக்கான செயலாற்றங்களிலே ஈடுபடும் அவர்களது இயல்பாற்றல்தான் இறுதியிலே நீதியை எய்திட உதவிசெய்யுயம். போர்க்குற்றங்கள் மற்றும் மனித உரிமை மீறல் குற்றச்செயல்கள் போன்றவற்றுக்கான நீதி ஈற்றிலே எய்தப்பெற்ற பல நாடுகளிலிருந்து கற்றுக்கொள்ளும் பாடம் அதுதான். நீண்டகால விளையாட்டிலே (ஆங்கிலத்திலே “long game”) விளையாடும் ஆற்றலானது தவறான எதிர்பார்ப்புக்களைத் தொடர்ச்சியாக உருவாக்குவதால் குழிபறிக்கப்படுவதுடன், ஏமாற்றத்தை விளைவிப்பதாயும் இருக்கும். நீதியை எய்தும்படிக்கு எமது சமூகம் இந்தப் போக்குக்கு எதிராகத் தற்காத்துக்கொள்ளவேண்டும். கலப்புநீதிமன்றம் எய்தப்படக்கூடிய ஒன்று என்பதை நான் எப்போதுமே நிலைநாட்டி வந்திருக்கிறேன். அது இலகுவாயிராது என்றும், நாம் கடினமாக உழைத்தால் அதனை எய்தலாம் என்றும் நான் கூறிவந்திருக்கிறேன். பலமாத காலமாக இடம்பெற்றுவந்த பரப்புரைகளும், கடின உழைப்புக்களும் இன்று பலனளித்துள்ளது. இன்றும் சில நாட்களுக்குள், சர்வதேச நீதிபதிகள், சட்டத்தரணிகள், விசாரணையாளர்களைக் கொண்டிருப்பதற்கு இலங்கை இறுதியாக இணங்குமா இல்லையா என்பதை நாம் அறியவருவோம். அவர்கள் இணங்கினார்களேயானால், பாதிக்கப்பட்ட பொதுமக்களை தவறாக வழிநடாத்த மறுத்து, நீதியையும் பாதிக்கப்பட்டோரின் உரிமைகளையும் நோக்காகக் கொண்டு ஆக்கபூர்வமாகப் பணியாற்றிய சிவில் சமூகச் செயற்பாட்டாளர்களினதும் அரசியல்வாதிகளினதும் பதிலீடுகளுக்கான ஒரு நற்சான்றாக அமையும். முன்னர் கலப்பு நீதிமன்றம் பற்றிய எமது நிலைப்பாட்டைக் கண்டித்து விமர்சித்தவர்களுங்கூட இன்று உயர் ஸ்தானிகரின் அறிக்கையை வரவேற்றது மட்டுமன்றி, அந்தக் கலப்புநீதிமன்றம் எப்படி இயங்கவேண்டும் என்பதைப்பற்றிப் பேசிவருகின்றனர். இது ஒரு முன்னேற்றகரமான விடயமாக இருப்பதால் அதனை நாம் வரவேற்றிடவேண்டும்.

அறிக்கையிலே ஆர்வத்தையூட்டும் இன்னும் ஒரு விடயந்தான் இன அழிப்புப் பற்றியதாகும். இன அழிப்புப் பற்றிய எந்த ஒரு கண்டுபிடிப்பையும் இந்த அறிக்கை கொண்டிருக்கவில்லை. ஆயினும், உயர்ஸ்தானிகர் நடாத்திய ஊடக மாநாட்டின்போது அவரிடம் இன அழித்தொழிப்புப் பற்றிய குறிப்பான கேள்வி கேட்கப்பட்டது. சுமார் 3000 கூற்றுக்கள் மற்றும் புகைப்படங்கள், வீடியோக்கள், ஆவணங்கள், ‘சட்டலைட்’ படங்கள் போன்றவை உள்ளிட்டதாக உயர் ஸ்தானிகரிடம் ஏற்கெனவே உள்ள சான்றுகளின் அடிப்படையிலே அவர் ஒரு இன அழிப்பு இடம்பெற்றுள்ளது எனும் முடிவுக்குத் தன்னால் முடிவுசெய்ய இயலாதிருப்பதாகச் சுட்டிக்காட்டியுள்ளார். ஆயினும், எதிர்காலத்திலே போதிய சான்றுகள் கிடைக்கும் பட்சத்தில், இன அழிப்பு இடம்பெற்றிருப்பதை நீரூபித்திட கூடும் என்றும் கூறியுள்ளார். பொறுப்புவாய்ந்த தமிழ் பரிந்துரைப்பாளர்களும், அரசியல்வாதிகளும் கூறிவந்துள்ள நிலைப்பாடாகவும் இது உள்ளது.

உயர்ஸ்தானிகரின் அறிக்கையானது இன அழிப்பு நிகழ்ந்தா? இல்லையா? எனும் விசாரணையை நிகழ்த்தாமலும் இருந்துள்ளமை அதிர்ஷ்டவசமானதே. ஒருவேளை முதலமைச்சர் விக்னேஸ்வரன், சிவாஜிலிங்கம் மற்றும் ஒருசிலரின் ஆலோசனையைக் கருந்திற் கொண்டு, உள்ள சான்றுகளின் அடிப்படையிலே இன அழிப்பு நிகழ்ந்தா இல்லையா எனும் விசாரணையை ஐ.நா. மேற்கொண்டிருந்தால் இன அழிப்பு நிகழ்ந்திருக்கவில்லை எனும் பதிலை உயர்ஸ்தானிகர் கூறியாகவேண்டிய கட்டாயம் ஏற்பட்டிருக்கும். அப்படியான ஒரு தீர்மானமானது தமிழ் மக்களுக்கு எதிர்மறையான பின்விளைவுகளை ஏற்படுத்தியிருக்கும். சகல சர்வதேச ஊடகங்களிலும் தலைப்புச்செய்தியாக, இலங்கையிலே மோசமான குற்றச்செயல்கள் இழைக்கப்பட்டன என்பதைச் சுட்டிக்காட்டும் தற்போதைய செய்திகளுக்குப் பதிலாக, “இலங்கையிலே இன அழிப்பு நிகழவில்லை” என்பது வெளிவந்திருக்கும்.

ஞாபகத்திலே கொள்ளவேண்டிய மூன்றாவது முக்கியமான குறிப்பு. எதுவெனில், அறிக்கையானது விடுதலை புலிகளினால் இழைக்கப்பட்ட, வலயன்மடம் கோயிலில் தஞ்சம் கோரிவந்த நூற்றுக்கணக்கான பிள்ளைகளைக் கடத்தியது உள்ளிட்டதான, மோசமான குற்றச்செயல்கள் பற்றியும் கூறியுள்ளது. எழிலனும் இளம்பரிதியும் அவ்வகையிலே மோசமான கண்டனத்துக்குரியவர்களாகப் பெயரிடப்பட்டுள்ளனர். இந்த உண்மைகளைச் சமூகமாக நாம் நேர்மையாக அணுகவேண்டும். எமது பெயரின் கீழ் குற்றச்செயல்கள் இழைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளன; அவை எமது மக்கள் மீது இழைக்கப்பட்டதாலும் அவை நடந்தது என்பதை நாம் அறிந்துள்ளதாலும் அவற்றை நாம் ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளவேண்டும். அறிக்கை சுட்டிக்காட்டுவதுபோல, குற்றச்செயல்களை இயக்கம் இழைத்துள்ளது என நிரூபித்துள்ளமையானது அரசை மன்னிப்பதாக அர்த்தம் பெறாது. எமக்கு இந்தப் பயம் இருக்கவேண்டியதில்லை. எம்மவர்களால் இழைக்கப்பட்ட குற்றச்செயல்களை நாம் ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளும்போதுதான், நாம் இராணுவத்துக்கும் அரசுக்கும் எதிராக குற்றம் சுமத்தும்போது அது மதிப்பைப் பெறும். நேர்மையிலே வெற்றி உண்டு.

நீதிக்கான எமது தாகத்திலே நீண்ட ஒரு பயணத்தின் ஒரு கட்டத்தின் இறுதிப்படியை நாம் அணுகி, புதிய ஒரு கட்டத்துக்குள் நாம் செல்லும்போது, நாம் கடந்தகாலத்துப் பாடங்களை நினைவுக்குக் கொண்டுவருவோமாக. கருத்துள்ள, பொறுப்புள்ள, நேர்மையான செயற்பாடுகள்தான் எமது போராட்டத்தை முன்னெடுத்துச்செல்ல அவசியமானவைகளாகும். அந்தப் பாதையிலேயே நாம் தொடர்ந்து தடம்பதிப்போமாக.

நிறான் அங்கிற்றல்

Published in Tamil

ஐக்கிய அமெரிக்க அரசின் இரு உயர் அதிகாரிகளான நிஷா பிஷ்வால் மற்றும் டொம் மலினோவ்ஸ்கி ஆகியோரின் அண்மைய இலங்கை விஜயம் அது இடம்பெற்ற காலகட்டத்தை நோக்கினால் முக்கியமானதாகும். மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவைக் கூட்டத்தொடர் ஜெனீவாவிலே இடம்பெறுவதற்கு ஒருசில வாரங்களே உள்ள நிலைமையிலே அவர் விடுத்துள்ள கருத்துக்கள் இலங்கைக்குள்ளும் வெளியேயும் முக்கியமான கண்டனக் கண்ணோட்டங்களை எழுப்பியுள்ளது. ஐக்கிய அமெரிக்க அரசு செப்டெம்பரிலே இடம்பெறவிருக்கும் மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவைக் கூட்டத்தொடரிலே ஒரு தீர்மானத்தை மேற்கொள்ள உத்தேசித்திருப்பதாயும், அந்தத் தீர்மானமானது இலங்கையிலே உள்நாட்டு பொறுப்புக்கூறும் பொறிமுறையை ஆதரிக்கும் எனவும் ஊடகங்கள் தெரிவிக்கின்றன.

இந்தக்கூற்றைத் தொடர்ந்து திருகோணமலையிலே டொம் மலினோவ்ஸ்கி விடுத்த கூற்றிலே அரசின் பொறிமுறை நம்பகத்தன்மையானதாக இருந்தால் மாத்திரமே அதனை அமெரிக்கா ஆதரிக்கும் என்று கூறியுள்ளார். அத்தகைய பொறிமுறை நம்பகத்தன்மையானதாக இருப்பதற்கு அது அரசியல் தலையீடற்ற சுயாதீனமானதாயும், சிறுபான்மை இனத்தவர்களின் நம்பிக்கைக்குப் பாத்திரமானவர்களால் நடாத்தப்படுவதாயும், மேலாக அது சர்வதேச ஈடுபாட்டைக் கொண்டதாயும் இருக்கவேண்டும் என்று அவர் விளக்கியுள்ளார்.

அமெரிக்க அதிகாரிகளின் கூற்றுக்களைப் பற்றிய ஊடகச் செய்திகள் தமிழ் சமூகத்தினரிடையே அதிர்ச்சி அதிர்வலைகளை உருவாக்கியுள்ளது. சர்வதேச விசாரணையை அமெரிக்கா புறந்தள்ளி, உள்நாட்டு விசாரணைக்கு வக்காலத்து வாங்கி, தமிழர்களைக் கைவிட்டுவிட்டதாக பல ஊடகங்கள் முடிவுகட்டிவிட்டன. தமிழர்கள் தமது அரசியல் போராட்டத்திலே பல பின்னடைவுகளைச் சந்தித்துள்ளனர். தமிழ்த்தலைவர்கள் அவர்களது சிங்களச் சகபாடிகளால் பல சந்தர்ப்பங்களிலே ஏமாற்றப்பட்டுள்ளனர். எனவே, இந்த சந்தர்ப்பத்திலும் அதே பழைய விளையாட்டுத்தான் இடம்பெறும் என அவர்கள் எதிர்பார்க்கக்கூடிய சாத்தியம் உள்ளது. அப்படிச் சிந்திக்கத் தலைப்படுவது இயல்பானதே. இருந்தாலுங்கூட, ஜெனீவாவிலே இடம்பெறக்கூடிய நிகழ்வுகள் மற்றும் பொறுப்புக்கூறுதல் விடயத்திலே அதன்பின்பு இடம்பெறக்கூடியவைகள் போன்றவைகளை முழுமையாகப் புரிந்துகொள்வதற்கு, நாம் உண்மைகளை நிதானமாகக் கருத்திற்கொள்ளவேண்டும். இதற்கெனப் போர்க்குற்றங்கள் தொடர்பிலே, யுத்தத்துக்குப் பிந்திய காலத்திலே இடம்பெற்ற சர்வதேச நகர்வுகள் பற்றிய அண்மைய சரித்திரத்தை நாம் புரிந்துகொள்ளவேண்டும்.

போர்க்குற்றச்செயல்கள் மற்றும் பொறுப்புக்கூறுதல் தொடர்பிலே சர்வதேச சமூகத்தின் ஈடுபாடானது மே மாதம் 2009 இலே, யுத்தம் முடிவுக்கு வந்த சொற்ப காலத்திற்குள்ளாகவே, ஐ.நா. செயலாளர் நாயகன் பான் கீ மூனும் மஹிந்த ராஜபக்‌ஷவும் ஒரு கூட்டறிக்கையிலே கைச்சாத்திட்டதுடன் ஆரம்பித்தது. அந்தக் கூட்டறிகையிலே சர்வதேச மனிதாபிமானச் சட்டம் மற்றும் மனித உரிமைகள் சட்டம் போன்றவற்றின் மீறுதல்களையிட்டுப் பொறுப்புக்கூறவைக்கும் ஒரு செயன்முறையை இலங்கை ஸ்தாபிக்கும் எனும் தனது எதிர்பார்ப்பினை பன் கீ மூன் தெரிவித்தார். அந்த விடயங்களைக் கவனத்திற் கொண்டு நடவடிக்கை எடுப்பதாக ராஜபக்‌ஷவும் இணங்கினார். அதே மாதத்திலே ஜெர்மனி மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையிலே இலங்கையைக் கண்டிக்கும் ஒரு தீர்மானத்தை நிறைவேற்ற முயற்சித்தும் வாக்களிப்பிலே தோல்விகண்டது. பேரவையிலே உள்ள தனது பங்காளிகளுடன் இணைந்து இலங்கை தனக்கு விரும்பிய ஒரு தீர்மானத்தை நிறைவேற்றிக்கொண்டது.

ஆயினும், அர்த்தமுள்ளதும் நம்பகத்தன்மையானதுமான முறையிலே இலங்கை போர்க்குற்றங்களைக் கவனத்திற் கொள்ளத் தவறியதால், இறுதியிலே மார்ச் 2012இலே மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையிலே இலங்கைக்கு எதிராக அமெரிக்கா ஒரு தீர்மானத்தை நிறைவேற்றக் கூடுமாய் இருந்தது. இந்தத் தீர்மானம் மிகவும் எளியதாகவே இருந்தது. அது கற்றுக்கொண்ட பாடங்கள் மற்றும் நல்லிணக்க ஆணைக்குழுவின் பரிந்துரைகளை அமுல்படுத்தும்படியும், அதற்கும் அப்பாற் சென்று நம்பத்தகுந்த உள்ளூர்ப் பொறிமுறையை நிலைநாட்டும்படிக்கும் இலங்கை அரசைக் கோருவதாக இருந்தது.

மீண்டும் ஒரு தடவை இலங்கை சர்வதேச சமூகத்துக்குச் செவிமடுக்கத் தவறிவிட்டது. எனவே, மார்ச் 2013 பேரவையிலே அதேபோன்ற ஆனாலும், மிகவும் கண்டிப்பான தோரணையிலே அமைந்த ஒரு தீர்மானம் நிறைவேற்றப்பட்டது. இறுதியாக, மார்ச் 2014இலே, சர்வதேச விசாரணை கட்டாயமாக இடம்பெறவேண்டும் என்ற தீர்மானம் பேரவையிலே நிறைவேற்றப்பட்டது. ஒரு சில சிறு தமிழ் அரசியற் கட்சிகளும் அவர்களது ஆதரவாளர்களும் அந்தத் தீர்மானத்துக்கு எதிராக விடுத்த கண்டன விமர்சனங்களின் மத்தியிலும் அப்போது நிறைவேற்றப்பட்ட தீர்மானமானது வலிமையானதாயும் வல்லமையான சர்வதேச விசாரணையை உருவாக்குவதாயும் இருந்தது. ஆயினும், அதே தீர்மானத்திலேயே நம்பத்தகுந்த ஒரு உள்ளூர்ப் பொறிமுறையை மேற்கொள்ளும்படி இலங்கை அரசுக்கு அழைப்பு விடுக்கப்பட்டும் இருந்தது. சிலர் இதனைக் கண்டித்து, ஒரே பிரேரணையே சர்வதேச விசாரணையை நிலைநாட்டும் அதேவேளை, உள்ளூர்ப் பொறிமுறையை எவ்வாறு நிறுவும்படியாக அரசுக்கு அழைப்பு விடுக்கலாம்? எனக் கேள்வி எழுப்பினர். ஆயினும், நம்பத்தகுந்த ஒரு உள்ளூர்ப் பொறிமுறையை மேற்கொள்ளும்படி இலங்கை அரசுக்கு நெருக்குதல் கொடுப்பதே சர்வதேச சமூகத்தின் நாட்டமாக இருந்தது என்பதுதான் நிஜமே ஒழிய மற்றப்படியல்ல. இதனாலேதான் மார்ச் 2014 தீர்மானமானது சர்வதேச விசாரணையை நிலைநாட்டும் அதேவேளை, குற்றங்களுக்குப் பொறுப்பானவர்களை அதற்காகப் பொறுப்பேற்கச் செய்யும்படிக்கும் இலங்கை அரசுக்கும் அழைப்பு விடுவதாய் இருந்தது. “மீறுதல்களுக்குப் பொறுப்பானவர்களை பொறுப்பேற்கச் செய்வது…” எனும் பதமானது வெறுமனே விசாரணை நடத்தும் கடப்பாட்டுக்கும் அப்பால், அவர்கள் மீது வழக்குத்தொடுத்து குற்றச்செயல்கள் புரிந்தவர்களைத் தண்டிப்பதையும் வேண்டிநின்றது.

இந்த இடத்திலேதான் நாம் ‘விசாரணை’க்கும் ‘பொறிமுறை’க்கும் இடையிலான முக்கிய வேறுபாட்டைக் குறித்துக்கொள்ள வேண்டும். விசாரணை என்பது வெறுமனே சாட்சிகளுடன் பேசி, சான்றுகளைச் சேகரித்து, குறிப்பிட்ட சில கண்டுபிடிப்புகளுக்கு வரும். ஆயினும், பொறிமுறையானது மிகவும் அகன்றுபட்டதான ஒரு கொள்கையாகும். அது யுத்தக் குற்றங்களுக்குப் பொறுப்பானவர்களை நீதிமன்றத்திலே முற்படுத்தி, உண்மையைக் கண்டுபிடித்து, பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கு நட்ட ஈடுகளை வழங்கி, அவர்களை வேதனைக்கு உள்ளாக்கிய கடந்த கால நிகழ்வுகள் மீள இடம்பெறாது என்பதை உறுதிப்படுத்துதல் ஆகியவைகளை உள்ளடக்கியது. தெளிவுறத் தெரிவது எதுவென்றால், சர்வதேச விசாரணையானது தற்போது பூர்த்தியானது மட்டுமன்றி, மேலதிக விசாரணைக்குத் தேவை இல்லை என்பதாகும். மேலும் உண்மையைக் கூறவும் நீதியை வழங்கவும் பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கு நிவாரண உதவிகள் வழங்கவும் ஒரு புதிய பொறிமுறையை நிலைநாட்டவேண்டியதாக தேவை தற்போது உள்ளது.

எனவே, சர்வதேச விசாரணையை அமெரிக்காவோ அல்லது வேறு எவருமோ புறந்தள்ளிவிட்டன எனும் வாதமானது சர்வதேசச் சட்டம் அல்லது மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவை ஆகியவை எப்படிச் செயற்படுகிறது என்பதையிட்டதான சரியான விளக்கத்திலே சார்ந்தது அல்ல. மாறாக, மார்ச் 2014 முதல் இடம்பெற்றுவந்த சர்வதேச விசாரணையானது தற்போது செப்டெம்பரிலே அறிக்கையினை வழங்கும். அந்த விசாரணை அறிக்கையானது பின்பு ஒரு புதிய பொறிமுறையை வேண்டி, புதிய பொறிமுறையானது அதன் பரிந்துரைகளுக்கு ஏற்பவே அமுல்படுத்தப்படவேண்டும் என வலியுறுத்தும்.

இந்தக் கட்டத்திலேதான் இந்தப் புதிய பொறிமுறையானது பரிந்துரைகளை எப்படி அமுல்படுத்தப்போகிறது என்ற கேள்வி எழுகின்றது. நாட்டுக்குள்ளே மேற்கொள்வதா அல்லது நாட்டுக்கு வெளியேயா? நாட்டுக்கு உள்ளேயானால் அந்தப் பொறிமுறை மீதான சர்வதேச பங்களிப்பு எவ்வாறானதாக இருக்க வேண்டும்?

உண்மை அறிதல் மற்றும் நட்ட ஈடுகளை வழங்குதல் போன்றவற்றையிட்டு விவாதிப்பதற்கு இடமில்லை. இந்த நாட்டுக்குள்ளேயே பொறிமுறையானது பூர்த்திசெய்யப்படவேண்டும் என்பது தெளிவு. உண்மை நாடும் முன்னெடுப்புகளுக்கு, குறிப்பாக காணாமற்போனோர்களைப் பொறுத்த விடயங்களுக்கு பாரிய புதைகுழிகள் தோண்டப்படவேண்டும். தடுத்து வைத்திருக்கும் இடங்கள் யாவும் பரிசோதிக்கப்படவேண்டும். அரசக் கோவைகளைப் பார்த்தாகவேண்டும். இவை அனைத்துமே இலங்கைக்குள்ளான ஒரு பொறிமுறையை வேண்டிநிற்கும். பிரான்ஸிலோ அல்லது ஜெனீவாவிலோ உள்ள பொறிமுறைகளால் இவற்றைச் செய்ய இயலாது. நட்ட ஈட்டைப் பொறுத்தவரைக்கும் அரசே பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கு நட்ட ஈடுகளை வழங்கவேண்டும். பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கான பணம் நியூயோர்க்கிலோ அல்லது லண்டனிலேயோ விநியோகித்திட முடியாது. அது களத்திலே உள்ள பாதிக்கப்பட்ட மக்களுக்கே வழங்கப்படுதல் வேண்டும்​

நீதியைப் பொறுத்தவரைக்கும் சர்வதேசக் குற்றவியல் நீதிமன்றம் (ICC) ஒரு சர்வதேசப் பொறிமுறையை மாத்திரமே நாம் வலியூட்டவேண்டும் எனச் சிலர் வாதிப்பதுண்டு. ஆயினும், நான் முன்னர் எழுதிவந்ததைப்போலவே, இலங்கையை சர்வதேசக் குற்றவியல் மன்றத்துக்கு அனுப்பிவைப்பது என்பது சாத்தியமற்றதாகும். ஏனெனில், ஐ.நா. பாதுகாப்புப் பேரவையிலே ரஷ்யா மற்றும் சீனா ஆகியவை தமது வீட்டோ அதிகாரத்தை அவ்வாறான ஒரு தீர்மானத்துக்கு எதிராக பாவிப்பார்கள் என்பது தெரிந்த விடயம். மேலும், சர்வதேசக் குற்றவியல் நீதிமன்றத்தில் இலங்கை தொடர்பான வழக்குகள் நடைபெற்றாலும் கூட, குற்றவாளி வசிக்கும் நாடானது ஒத்துழைத்தாலே ஒழிய, மற்றப்படி அந்த நபரை (நபர்களை) சிறைவைப்பதற்கான சாத்தியம் சொற்பமானதே. உதாரணமாக, சூடான் நாட்டின் ஜனாதிபதி பஷீர் பலவருட காலமாக சர்வதேசக் குற்றவியல் நீதிமன்றத்தில் தேவைப்படுபவராக இருந்தார். ஆயினும், சூடான் ஒத்துழைக்காதபடியால், பஷீர் அந்த நாட்டின் ஜனாதிபதியாகத் தொடர்ந்து நிலைகொண்டுள்ளார். மேலும், சர்வதேசக் குற்றவியல் மன்றமானது அது இடைப்படும் ஒவ்வொரு நாடுகளிலும் இருந்து ஓரிரு நபர்களை மாத்திரமே வழக்குக்கு முற்படுத்துவதுண்டு. எனவேஅ போர்க்குற்றம் செய்த அநேகர்களை குற்றங்கள் இழைக்கப்பட்ட நாட்டினுள்ளேயே வழக்குத்தாக்கல் செய்யவேண்டிய தேவைகள் இன்னமும் உண்டு.

இந்தக் காரணங்களாலேதான் இலங்கைக்குள் ஒரு நீதிப் பொறிமுறை இருக்கவேண்டியது அவசியமானதாகும். டொம் மலினொவ்ஸ்கி எனும் அமெரிக்க அதிகாரி கூறியதைப்போலவே, அந்தப் பொறிமுறைகள் நம்பத்தகுந்ததாயும், சர்வதேசப் பங்கேற்பினைக் கொண்டதாயும், தமிழ் சமூகத்தைத் திருப்திப்படுத்துவதாயும் அமையவேண்டும். ஒரு தனி உள்நாட்டு பொறிமுறை (purely domestic mechanism) தமிழர்களால் ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளக்கூடியதாய் இராது என்பது உலகம் அறிந்த உண்மையாகும். ஒரு சர்வதேசமயமாக்கப்பட்ட பொறிமுறை (சர்வதேச பங்கெட்டுப்புடனான இலங்கை பொறிமுறை) தான் காலத்தின் தேவை என தமிழ் தேசிய கூட்டமைப்பின் சில தலைவர்களின் கூற்றுகளை இந்த கண்ணோட்டத்தில் தான் பார்வையிட வேண்டும். எனவே, சர்வதேச விசாரணைகள் நிறைவடைந்ததும் தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பு தமது பேரம் பேசும் சக்தியைப் பயன்படுத்தி, இலங்கையின் பொறிமுறையிலே சர்வதேசப் பங்களிப்பை உறுதிசெய்து மேம்பட்ட நம்பகத் தன்மையை உறுதிசெய்துகொள்வது அவசியமானதாகும். ஜெனீவா கூட்டத்தொடரின் விளைவீடுகள் எப்படி இருக்கும் என்பது எமக்கு இன்னமும் தெரியாது. நீதியே உருவாக்குவதற்கு இட்டுச்செல்லும் சர்வதேச பங்களிப்புடனான ஒரு சர்வதேசமயமாக்கப்பட்ட இலங்கை பொறிமுறை பற்றிய தீர்மானம் நிறைவேற்றப்படுமா? அல்லது அங்கே ஒரு பலவீனமான தீர்மானந்தான் நிறைவேற்றப்படுமா? இதுபற்றிய விபரங்கள் இன்னும் தெரியாது. ஆயினும், பாதிக்கப்பட்டோர் மனந்தளர்ந்திடக்கூடாது. நேரியதான ஒரு விளைவு ஏற்படுவது இன்னமும் சாத்தியமே. நீதியை நோக்கியதான முன்னேற்றம் துரிதமாயும் இலகுவாயும் இருக்கும் என நான் சொல்வதில்லை. ஆயினும், கடந்த ஐந்து வருடங்களுக்கு முன்னைய காலத்திலே என்றும் இருந்திராத விதத்திலே நீதிக்கான சாத்தியங்கள் தற்காலத்திலே மிகவும் அதிகமாக உள்ளது. இது பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கு நம்பிக்கையூட்டுவதாக இருக்க வேண்டும். நீதி இறுதியிலே வந்தாகவே வேண்டும். வரும்.

நிறான் அங்கிற்றல்

Published in Tamil

‘மிருசுவில் படுகொலைகள்’ என அறியப்பட்ட வழக்கில் மேல் நீதிமன்ற ட்ரயல் அற் பாரின் அண்மைய குற்றத் தீர்ப்பும் மற்றும் சார்ஜன்ட் சுனில் ரட்னாயக்கவிற்கு விதிக்கப்பட்ட மரண தண்டனையும் தீவிரத் தேசியவாத சிங்கள பௌத்த கும்பல்களின் முற்றிலும் எதிர்பார்க்கப்பட்ட ஆவேசமான சீற்றத்தை எதிர்கொண்டது. ஆனால், அரச இயந்திரத்தினுள் இருந்து ஒரு சுவாரசியமான பதிலிறுத்தலே இதற்கு வெளிப்பட்டது. இந்தத் தீர்ப்பு, மனித உரிமை மீறல்களைக் கையாள்வதற்கு இலங்கை சட்ட முறைமையின் செயற்றிறனை வெளிப்படுத்துவதாக இராணுவப் பேச்சாளர் ஒருவர் கூறினார் – இந்தக் கருத்து வழக்கு நடவடிக்கையைக் கையாண்ட சட்ட மா அதிபர் திணைக்களத்தின் உத்தியோகத்தர்கள் உட்பட வேறு பலரினாலும் கூட பிரதிபலிக்கப்பட்டது.

பதவியிலுள்ள அரசு பொறுப்புக் கூறலுக்கு ஒரு ‘முற்றிலும் உள்ளூர் மாதிரியைக்’ கவனத்தில் கொள்வதாக வெளிவிவகார அமைச்சிலிருந்து வெளிப்படும் மிகச் சமீபத்தைய அறிக்கைகள் தெரிவிக்கின்றன. உண்மையாயின், இது – ஒரு முற்றிலும் உள்ளூர் மாதிரி ஊடாக இடைக்கால நீதி மற்றும் பொறுப்புக் கூறலுக்கான சாத்தியங்கள் குறித்து அதிகரித்தளவிவான ஐயங்களை வளர்த்துக் கொண்ட மனித உரிமைச் செயற்பாட்டாளர்கள் மற்றும் இலங்கையிலுள்ள பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுடன், இலங்கை அரசை ஒரு முரண்பட்ட நிலையிலிடும். செப்டெம்பரில், ஜெனீவாவில் மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையின் அமர்வுகள் ஆரம்பிப்பதற்கு சில தினங்கள் முன், நாடாளுமன்றம் கூடுவதற்கு எதிர்பார்க்கப்பட்டிருக்கின்ற நிலையில், செப்டெம்பரின் சில வாரங்களில் நாடாளுமன்றத்தில் குறைந்தது ஒரு சில சட்டபூர்வமான வரைபுகளையாவது அரசு சமர்ப்பிக்கும் என ஊகிப்பதற்கான ஒரு அரங்கு அங்கு தயார் செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது.

ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் மார்ச் மற்றும் செப்டெம்பர் மாதங்களுக்கு இடையிலான காலப்பகுதியினுள் அரசுடன் ஈடுபடுவதற்கு எதிர்பார்க்கப்பட்ட வேளையில், செப்டெம்பரில் அநேகம் அறிவிக்கப்படக்கூடிய பொறிமுறைகளை உருவாக்குவதற்கு ஏதேனும் அர்த்தமுள்ள வகையில் இலங்கை அரசு அதன் சொந்த நிபுணர்கள், சிவில் சமூகம் அல்லது பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களின் பிரதிநிதிகளை ஈடுபடுத்துவதற்கு நிர்ப்பந்திப்பதில் இதுவரை தவறியுள்ளது. குறிப்பாக, இலங்கைச் சூழ்நிலையில் சர்வதேச நியமங்களைத் திருப்தி செய்யும் ஒரு மாதிரியின் அமைப்பை அல்லது மாதிரிகளை விளக்குவதற்கு அது தவறியுள்ளது. விசேட அறிக்கையாளர் பப்லோ டி கிறிப் அவர்களின் அவதானித்தல்கள் வரவேற்கப்பட்டு சமனிலைப்படுத்தப்பட்ட வேளையில், அவை மிகவும் ஆரம்ப நிலையிலானவையாக இருந்ததுடன், அதன்பின் அதிகளவு விடயங்கள் நடந்தேறியுள்ளன. மார்ச்சில் ஆணையாளர் செயிட் இலங்கைக்கு ஒரு ஒத்திவைப்பை வழங்கிய பின்னும் கூட ஐ.நாவின் ஒரு பொருத்தமான மூலோபாயமின்மை ஐ.நாவின் வதிவிட ஒருங்கிணைப்பாளர் சபிநே நன்டி அவர்களின் அண்மைய கருத்துக்களிலிருந்து வெளிப்பட்டது. உள்நாட்டு – சர்வதேச கலப்பு முறை சார்ந்து ஆணையாளர் செயிட் அவர்களின் அலுவலகத்தால் சாத்தியமான பரிந்துரைத்தலை முன்கூட்டியே தடுத்து, ஒரு திட்டவட்டமான ‘உள்ளூர்’ செயன்முறைக்காக ஐ.நாவின் நிதி உதவியை அவர் வேண்டியதாகத் தெரிகிறது.

இலங்கையில் பொறுப்புக்கூறலின் ஏதேனும் செயன்முறைகளில் நம்பகத்தன்மையை உறுதிப்படுத்துவதற்கு மனித உரிமை மீறல்களின் வழக்குத் தொடர்தல்கள் தொடர்பாக தீவிரமான கட்டமைப்புச் சீர்திருத்தங்கள் ஏன் முதலில் தேவைப்படும் என்பதை வெளிக்காட்டுவதற்கு மிருசுவில் வழக்கிலான ஒரு சில அவதானித்தல்களை இந்தக் கட்டுரையில் நான் தருகிறேன்.

முதலாவது, மிருசுவில் படுகொலை தொடர்பான வழக்கு, இலங்கையினுள் அரச செயற்பாட்டாளர்களால் புரியப்பட்ட பெரும் எண்ணிக்கையிலான மனிதப் படுகொலைகளுள், குற்றத்துக்குப் பொறுப்பானவர்கள் நீதியின் முன் கொண்டுவரப்பட்ட ஒரு சில வழக்குகளுள் ஒன்றாகக் காணப்படுகின்றது. மிகப் பெரும்பாலான வழக்குகளில் சந்தேகத்திற்குரியவர்கள் ஒரு நீதிமன்றத்தின் முன் ஒருபோதும் கொண்டு வரப்பட்டதே இல்லை அல்லது வழக்குகள் தொடுக்கப்பட்டவிடத்து அவை நிலுவையில் உள்ளன அல்லது குற்றம்சாட்டப்பட்டவர்கள் விடுதலை செய்யப்பட்டனர். எவ்வாறாயினும், 2000ஆம் ஆண்டின் முற்பகுதி, அப்போதைய சந்திரிக்கா குமாரதுங்க அரசால் ஒரு தொகையான வழக்கு நடவடிக்கைகள் தொடரப்பட்டன. இவை பிந்துனுவெவ வழக்கு மற்றும் கிருஷாந்தி குமாரசுவாமி வழக்கு என்பவற்றை உள்ளடக்குகிறது. ஆனால், மின்னோஸ்டாப் பல்கலைக் கழகத்தின் மொரியா லின்ச் என்பவரின் படி, இலங்கை தொடர்பான அவரது சம்பவக் கற்கையில், இந்த குமாரதுங்க காலத்திலான அதிகரித்த வழக்குத் தொடர்தல் நடவடிக்கைகள் குறுகிய காலமே நிலைத்தது, இந்தக் காலத்தின் போது முன்னெடுக்கப்பட்ட பல வழக்கு விசாரணைகளில் குற்றஞ் சாட்டப்பட்டவர்கள் விடுதலை செய்யப்பட்டனர் அல்லது வழக்குகள் இன்னமும் நிலுவையில் உள்ளது என அவர் சுட்டிக் காட்டுகிறார்.

இரண்டாவது, இந்த வழக்கு பற்றி கவனத்தை ஈர்க்கும் விடயம் என்னவென்றால் ட்ரயல் அற் பார் நீதிமன்றம் வழக்கு நடவடிக்கைகளை முடிப்பதற்கு பன்னிரெண்டு வருடங்களை எடுத்தமையாகும். இதனொரு மேன்முறையீடு முன்னெடுக்கப்படின், அச்செயன்முறை எந்தளவு நீண்ட காலம் எடுக்கும் என்பது நிச்சயமற்றதாக உள்ளது. ஒரு குறைந்த காலத்துக்கான ஊகமே மேலும் மூன்றிலிருந்து ஐந்து வருடங்கள் வரை எடுக்கும் என்பதாக உள்ளது. மிருசுவில் வழக்குத் தொடர்பான குற்றப் பகிர்வுகள் குற்ற விசாரணையைத் தொடர்ந்து இரண்டு வருடங்களிலேயே வந்தது, என்பதுடன் விசாரணை விளக்கம் 2003ஆம் ஆண்டு செப்டெம்பரில் ஆரம்பிக்கப்பட்டது. அதன் பின்னர் என்ன நடைபெற்றது என்பது இலங்கையின் ஒரு சீர்திருத்தம் அடையாத சட்ட முறைமையிடம் பொறுப்புக்கூறலை விடுவது, குறிப்பாக ஏன் ஒரு மோசமான யோசனை என்பதைச் சரியாக எடுத்துக் காட்டியது. வழக்கை விசாரிக்கும் அமர்வுக் குழுவின் கட்டமைப்புக்கான பல்வகை மாற்றங்களோடு வழக்கு அலைபட்டது. வழமையானதொரு மேல் நீதிமன்ற விசாரணையை விட துரிதமான ஒரு விசாரணை வடிவம் எனக் கருதப்பட வேண்டிய – ஒரு ட்ரயல் அற் பார் – வழக்கை முடிப்பதற்கு ஒரு தசாப்தத்திற்கும் மேலாக எடுத்துக் கொண்டமை நீதி முறைமையின் முற்றிலுமான அசாதாரண செயற்பாடு என்பதின் ஒரு துரதிர்ஷ்டவசமான சுட்டிக்காட்டுதலாக உள்ளது. இதனாலேயே கொடூரக் குற்றங்களைக் கையாள்வதற்கு ஒரு விசேட நீதிமன்றம் அத்தியாவசியமாகின்றது. அது இன்றி, மனித உரிமைகள் துஷ்பிரயோகங்களைக் கையாளும் விசாரணைகளே, அவற்றின் தரங்கள், பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களின் நம்பிக்கை, வெளிப்படைத் தன்மை மற்றும் செயன்முறையின் தொடர்ச்சி என்பவற்றின் மீது பாதிப்பை ஏற்படுத்தும் விளைவுகளுடன் பல தசாப்தங்களை எடுக்கும்.

மூன்றாவது, இந்த வழக்கானது கொடூரக் குற்றங்களுக்கான அரச உத்தியோகத்தர்களின் மட்டுப்படுத்தப்பட்ட எண்ணிக்கையிலான சட்ட நடவடிக்கைகள் பலவற்றுக்குப் பொதுவான ஒரு மாதிரியை தவறாது பின்பற்றியது. அதாவது, புலன்விசாரணைகள் உள்நாட்டு அல்லது சர்வதேச அழுத்தம் அல்லது அவை இரண்டின் காரணமாக முன்னெடுக்கப்பட்டன. சந்தேக நபர்கள் பலர் இனங்காணப்பட்டனர். ஆனால், ஒரு சில கீழ் நிலை படைவீரர்களே குற்றஞ் சாட்டப்பட்ட வேளையில் மற்றையவர்கள் குற்றஞ் சாட்டப்படவில்லை. விசாரணையின் போது விடுவிக்கப்பட்டனர் அல்லது விடுதலை செய்யப்பட்டனர். எம்பிலிப்பிட்டிய, பிந்துனுவௌ, செம்மணி மற்றும் இப்பொழுது மிருசுவில் வழக்குகள் இந்த இடர்ப்பாடான மாதிரியையே எடுத்துக் காட்டின. மிருசுவில் வழக்கில், இரண்டு சிறுவர்கள் உட்பட எட்டுப் பொதுமக்கள் கண்கள் கட்டப்பட்டு அவர்களின் தொண்டைகள் கத்தியால் அறுக்கப்பட்டுக் கொலை செய்யப்பட்டனர். அவர்களது உடலங்கள் ஒரு கழிவறைக் குழியில் போடப்பட்டன. தனிக் குற்றவாளியாகக் காணப்பட்ட சார்ஜன்ட் ரட்னாயக்க பதினேழு குற்றச்சாட்டுக்களில் குற்றங் காணப்பட்டார். அதிலொன்று, கொலை செய்யும் பொதுவான நோக்கத்தோடு சட்டவிரோதமாகக் கூடியமையாகும். ஒன்று சேர்ந்து பல ஆட்களால் ஒரு தொடரான குற்றங்கள் புரியப்பட்டமைக்கு தெளிவான சாட்சியங்கள் இருந்தபோதிலும், குற்றம் நடைபெற்று பதினைந்து வருடங்களுக்கு மேலாகியும் ஒரேயொரு நபர் மட்டுமே குற்றவாளியாக நிற்கிறார். இந்த வழக்குகள் புலன்விசாரணை மற்றும் மனித உரிமைகள் வழக்கு நடவடிக்கைகள் என்பவற்றிலான கட்டமைப்புக் குறைபாடுகளைச் சுட்டிக் காட்டுகின்றதுடன், பொலிஸ் புலன்விசாரணை மற்றும் சட்ட மா அதிபர் முன்னெடுக்கும் வழக்கு நடவடிக்கைகளில் பரவலான அவநம்பிக்கையையே ஏற்படுத்தியுள்ளன. 1994 மற்றும் 1998 காணாமற் போனவர்களின் புலன்விசாரணை ஆணைக்குழு மனித உரிமைகள் துஷ்பிரயோகங்கள் தொடர்பான வழக்கு நடவடிக்கைகளைக் கையாள்வதற்கு ஒரு சுயாதீனமான வழக்குத் தொடுநரை அரசு அதிகாரமளித்தல் வேண்டுமென ஏற்கனவே பரிந்துரையை மேற்கொண்டுள்ளது. புலன்விசாரணை செய்வதற்கு ஏற்பாடளிக்கப்பட்ட சுயாதீனமான ஒரு வழக்குத் தொடுநரின்றி, கடுமையான மனித உரிமை மீறல்களின் வழக்குகளைத் தயார் செய்து வழக்கு நடவடிக்கை மேற்கொள்ளும், ஒரு உள்நாட்டுச் செயன்முறை குற்றவிலக்களிப்பு மற்றும் திரும்பத் திரும்ப நடைபெறும் தவறிய வழக்கு நடவடிக்கைகளின் ஒரு கலாச்சாரத்தை மட்டுமே நிலையானதாக்கும்.

நாலாவதாக, இலங்கையின் குற்றவியல் சட்டங்கள் பெருமளவிலான கொலைகளின் முக்கியத்துவத்தைக் கவனத்தில் கொள்வதற்கும் மற்றும் குற்றங்களுக்கு கூடுதலாகப் பொறுப்பு வகிப்பவர்களுக்கு கட்டளையிடும் மற்றும் மேற்பார்வை பொறுப்பு மீது கவனம் செலுத்துவதற்கும் வருத்தமளிக்கும் வகையில் போதுமானவையாக இல்லை. யுத்தக் குற்றங்கள் மற்றும் மனிதநேயத்திற்கு எதிரான குற்றங்கள் போன்ற சர்வதேசக் குற்றங்களைக் குற்றவியல்படுத்துவதற்கு சட்டங்கள் திருத்தப்பட்டாலன்றியும் – மற்றும் அதனுடன் கட்டளைப் பொறுப்பு மற்றும் கூட்டுக் குற்ற முயற்சி பொறுப்பு மாதிரிகளை அறிமுகம் செய்தாலன்றியும் – குற்றங்களில் யார் கட்டளையிட்டது, அனுசரனையளித்தது அல்லது உடந்தையாயிருந்து தீர்மானம் மேற்கொண்டவர்கள் என்பதை சுயாதீன வழக்குத் தொடுநர்கள் மற்றும் புலன்விசாரணையாளர்கள் கூட கவனிக்காது விட்டுவிடுவது உயர்ந்தளவிலாக இருக்கும்.

இறுதியாக, சுயாதீனத் தன்மை, நடுநிலைத் தன்மை மற்றும் தகுதிவாய்ந்த நிலை என்பவற்றின் ஒரு அளவை உறுதிப்படுத்துவதற்கு வெறுமனே தொழில்நுட்ப ஆலோசனை மற்றும் உதவி என்பனவின்றி, சர்வதேசப் பங்குபற்றுதல் அவசியமாகும். சிக்கலான சர்வதேசக் குற்றங்களின் புலன்விசாரணை மற்றும் வழக்கு நடவடிக்கை என்பன நிபுணர்களின் நிபுணத்துவம் மற்றும் முழுமையான பக்கச்சார்பின்மை என்பவற்றைத் தேவைப்படுத்துகிறது. அதன் சொந்த நியாயாதிக்கத்தினுள் இந்தக் குற்றங்களுக்கு வழக்கு நடவடிக்கை எடுப்பதற்கு இலங்கை உரித்துடையதாக உள்ள வேளையில், தகுதிவாயந்த சர்வதேச நிபுணர்களின் உள்வாங்குதல் ஊடாக அந்த நியாயாதிக்கம் ஏன் அப்பியாசிக்கப்பட முடியாதென்பதற்கு ஒரு காரணம் எதுவுமில்லை.

ஆகையால், இலங்கையின் குற்றவியல் நீதி எந்தளவிற்கு இயலுமாதென்பதற்கு மிருசுவில் வழக்கு சிறந்த முறையில் எடுத்துக் காட்டுகிறது. வழக்கில் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட அரச உத்தியோகத்தர்களின் சுய பாராட்டு வெளிப்படுத்தல்களிலிருந்து அது தெளிவாகின்றது. சுயாதீனம் மற்றும் சர்வதேச நியமங்களுக்கான கடைப்பிடித்தல் என்பவற்றை உறுதிப்படுத்துவதற்கு முழுமையான சீர்த்திருத்தங்கள் நீதி முறைமைக்குத் தேவைப்படுகின்றது. குற்றவிலக்களிப்பை முடிவுறுத்துவதற்கு ஓர் எதிர்கால அரசின் பற்றுறுதி, சர்வதேச அழுத்தம் காரணமாக பலிபீடத்தில் ஒரு சில கீழ் நிலைப் படைவீரர்கள் மற்றும் அரசியல் எதிரிகளைப் பலியிடுவதற்கு எந்தளவிற்கு அது முனைப்பாக உள்ளது என்பதினால் இல்லாது, இலங்கையின் இருண்ட கடந்த காலத்துடன் கையாள்வதற்கு அவசியமான நிறுவனங்கள் மற்றும் ஏற்பாடுகளை உருவாக்குவதற்கு அவசியமான நிறுவனரீதியான மற்றும் சட்டக் கட்டமைப்புகளை உருவாக்குவதற்கு அது எந்தளவிற்கு விருப்பாக உள்ளது என்பதினால் அளவிடப்படும்.

THE MIRUSUVIL CASE: WHY SEARCHING REFORM IS URGENT AND NECESSARY என்ற தலைப்பில் ‘கிரவுண்ட்விவ்ஸ்’ தளத்தில் வௌிவந்த கட்டுரையின் தமிழாக்கம் இங்கு தரப்பட்டுள்ளது.

Published in Tamil

உலகின் பல பாகங்களிலே ஊடக சுதந்திர தினமானது தமது ஊடகப்பணியை ஆற்றும்போது கொலையுண்ட ஊடகவியலாளர்களை நினைவுகூருவதால் கொண்டாடப்படுகிறது. யாழ்ப்பாணத்தில் அப்படிப் பலியானவர்களின் தொகையானது எனது பேச்சிலோ இப்படியான ஒரு நிகழ்விலோ குறிப்பிட்டுச் சொல்லிமுடியாதபடிக்கு அதிகமானதாகும். இங்கு அமர்ந்திருக்கும் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் உட்படப் பலர் இன்றும் அதேபோன்ற ஆபத்துக்குத் தொடர்ந்தும் முகங்கொடுத்தும் வருகின்றனர். இருண்ட காலகட்டங்களிலுங்கூட பாதுகாக்கப்பட்டு வந்துள்ள தொழிற்துறையில் ஒரு சட்டத்தரணி என்ற ரீதியிலே, பெரும் விலை கொடுத்த இந்தப் பிராந்தியத்தைச் சேர்ந்த ஊடகவியலாளர்களுக்கு எனது ஆழ்ந்த கனத்தை வெளிப்படுத்துவதற்குக் கிடைத்த சலாக்கியமாகவே இதனை நான் பார்க்கிறேன். அறிந்துகொள்வதற்கான எமது உரிமையைப் பாதுகாப்பதிலே பெரும் கிரயத்தைச் செலுத்திய அவர்களைச் சிரம் தாழ்த்திக் கனம் செய்கிறேன். இந்தக் காலைப்பொழுதிலே பேசும்படியாக எனக்குத் தரப்பட்ட தலைப்பு, “போர்க்குற்றங்களுக்கான பொறுப்புக்கூறுதலும் ஊடக சுதந்திரமும்” என்பதாகும். மக்களைச் சுண்டியிழுக்கும் ஒரு தலைப்பாக இது தெரிந்தாலுங்கூட, ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் – குறிப்பாக வடக்குக் கிழக்கிலே உள்ளவர்கள் – அனுதினமும் முகங்கொடுக்கும் அம்சங்களையே நான் கவனத்திற்கொள்ள விரும்புகிறேன். இப்படியான தலைப்பைக் கையாள்வதற்கு நான் எனது உரையை இரு பகுதிகளாகப் பிரித்துக்கொள்ள விரும்புகிறேன். முதலாவதாக, சர்வதேசக் குற்றச்செயல்களைத் தெரியப்படுத்துவதிலே ஊடகத்தின் (மற்றும் ஊடக சுதந்திரத்தின்) வகிபங்கு. இரண்டாவதாக, நிலைமாற்றுக்காலநீதியின் செயன்முறையிலே கடந்தகாலத்திலே இடம்பெற்ற சர்வதேசக் குற்றச்செயல்களைக் கையாளுவதிலே ஊடகத்தின் (மற்றும் ஊடக சுதந்திரத்தின்) வகிபங்கு. வேறுபல நாடுகளைப்போலவே இலங்கையிலும் போர்க்குற்றங்கள், மனுக்குலத்துக்கு எதிரான குற்றச்செயல்கள் மற்றும் இன அழிப்பு ஆகியவை பற்றி அறிக்கைசெய்வதென்பது ஆபத்தான காரியமாகும். அநேகமாக இந்தக் குற்றச்செயல்கள் தமது குற்றச்செயல்கள் பகிரங்கப்படுத்தப்படுவதை விரும்பாத மிகவும் வல்லாதிக்கமுள்ளவர்களால் இழைக்கப்படுவதுண்டு. போர்க்குற்றங்கள் பற்றி அறிக்கைசெய்வது பெரும் ஆபத்தை விலைக்குவாங்வது போன்றதே. வாளைவிடப் பேனாமுனை பலம் மிக்கது என்பதைப் போரிடும் தரப்பினர் உணர்ந்திருப்பதாலே ஒருவேளை இப்படியாகக்கூடும். ஆயினும், இப்படியான ஆபத்துக்களிலிருந்தும், யுத்த வலயங்களுக்குள் நுழைவது மறுக்கப்பட்டிருந்தும், பல நாடுகளிலே போர்க்குற்றங்களையும் வேறு சர்வதேசக் குற்றச்செயல்களையும் வெளிக்கொணர்வதற்கு ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் உதவியுள்ளனர். சர்வதேசக் குற்றங்கள் இடம்பெறுகையிலே அவற்றைத் தமது ஸ்மார்ட் கைத்தொலைபேசிகளிலே பதிவுசெய்து, வலைத்தளங்களுக்கு அந்தச் சான்றுகளைத் தரவேற்றும் ‘குடிமக்கள் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள்’ அதிகரித்து வருகின்றனர். இந்த யுக்தி இலங்கையிலும் கணிசமான அளவுக்குப் பயன்படுத்தப்படுவதை நாம் கண்டுள்ளோம். உதாரணமாக. நுழைவு அனுமதி மறுக்கப்பட்டிருந்த மெனிக்பாம் தடுப்புமுகாமின் ஆரம்பகட்டத்து நிலைமை மற்றும் அங்கு அடைக்கப்பட்ட மக்களின் மோசமான நிலைமை போன்றவற்றையிட்ட படங்கள், அந்த முகாமுக்குள் சென்ற குடிமக்கள் ஊடகவியலாளர்களாலேயே வெளிக்கொணரப்பட்டன. ஆயினும், குற்றங்கள் மத்தியிலே ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் சேதமாக்கும் வகிபங்கை வகிப்பதும் சாத்தியமே. மனுக்குலத்துக்கு இழைக்கப்பட்ட மோசமான இன அழிப்புக்களின்போது எப்படியாக ஊடகங்கள் பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டன என்பதையிட்ட உதாரணங்களையும் நாம் கண்டுள்ளோம். பல மில்லியன்கணக்கான மக்கள் கொலையுண்ட ஜேர்மனி மற்றும் ருவாண்டா ஆகிய நாடுகளிலே, அந்த இன அழிப்பை ஊக்குவித்து அவற்றை ஒழுங்கிணைக்க உதவிய வானொலி நிலையப் பணியாளர்களே அவற்றுக்குப் பொறுப்பைக் கொண்டவர்கள். இலங்கையிலுங்கூட, உலகெங்கிலும் பயன்படுத்தப்படும் யுக்தியான ‘நடுகை ஊடகவியலாளர்’ பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டதை நாம் கண்டுள்ளோம். ஒரு தரப்பாரை ஆதரிக்கும் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் இராணுவ அலகொன்றிலே உள்வாங்கப்பட்டு யுத்த வலயங்களுக்குச் செல்லும் அனுமதி அவர்களுக்கு வழங்கப்படுவதுண்டு. களநிலைச் செய்திகள் பற்றிய உண்மையின் விளக்கத்தை வழங்குகையிலே, இத்தகைய ஊடகவியலாளர்களின் அறிக்கைகள் பக்கச் சார்பானதாக இருப்பது இயல்பானதே. அதேபோலவே, குடிமக்கள் ஊடகவியலாளர்களும் அபத்தமானவர்களாக ஆகிடக்கூடும். ஒன்றில் அவர்கள் ஒரு தரப்பாரின் கொள்கைபரப்பினை ஊக்குவிப்பதாலேயோ அல்லது ஊடக விதிகள் மற்றும் தர்மங்களுக்கு ஒழுகாத பொறுப்பற்ற சமூக ஊடகப்பயன்பாடுகளாலேயோ இப்படியாகலாம். எனவே, மோசமான குற்றச்செயல்களை வெளிக்கொணர்வதற்கு எப்படியாக இலத்திரனியல் மற்றும் அச்சு ஊடகங்கள் செயற்படுமோ, அதேபோலவே அந்தக் குற்றங்களை மூடிமறைக்கவும் மேலும் குற்றங்களைச் செய்யும்படி ஊக்குவிக்கவும் ஊடகம் பயன்படுத்தப்படலாம். இதனாலேதான், சான்று இருந்தாலுங்கூட பெருமளவிலான குற்றச்செயல்கள் இடம்பெறுகின்றதையிட்டு உலகுக்கு உறுத்தியுணர்த்துவது கடினமானதாகிறது. தப்பான தகவல்களின் திரட்சியால், தீர்மானம் எடுப்பவர்களுக்கு யாரை நம்புவது என்ற குழப்பம். இலங்கையிலே, பிரதானமாகச் சர்வதேச விசாரணையைத் தவிர்க்கும் பிரகாரமாக, இராணுவமும் முன்னைய அரசும் திட்டமிட்டுப் புனையப்பட்ட தப்பான தகவல்களைச் பரப்பி வந்தது. “குடிமக்களின் இறப்பு பூச்சியம்”, “யுத்த சூனியப் பிரதேசம்”, “சகல கனரக ஆயுதங்களையும் முடிவுக்குக் கொணர்தல்”, மற்றும் “மனிதாபிமான நடவடிக்கை” போன்றவைகளைப் பற்றி அவைகள் பேசிவந்தன. இந்தப் பொய்கள் கூறப்பட்டுக் கொண்டிருக்கும் போதே குண்டுத்தாக்குதல்களால் ஆயிரக்கணக்கான அப்பாவிக் குடிமக்கள் கொலை செய்யப்பட்டனர். எனவே, சர்வதேசக் குற்றங்களையிட்டு அறிக்கையிடும் ஸ்தாபனங்களின் நம்பகத்தன்மை பற்றிய கேள்வி இங்கே எழுகிறது. பாதுகாப்பதற்கான பொறுப்புக் கோட்பாட்டின் (Responsibility to Protect Doctrine) வெளிச்சத்திலே இந்தக் கேள்விகள் பொருத்தமானவை. ஒரு நாட்டிலே சர்வதேசக் குற்றங்கள் பெருமளவிலே இடம்பெறும்போது, அவற்றைத் தவிர்ப்பதற்குக் குறிந்த அந்த நாடு நடவடிக்கைகள் எடுக்காவிட்டால், சர்வதேசச் சமூகம் குடிமக்களைப் பாதுகாப்பதற்கு ஐ.நா. பாதுகாப்புப் பேரவையின் பணிப்புரையின் கீழ் பல படிமுறைகளை எடுத்திடலாம். சர்வதேத் தீர்மானம் எடுப்போருக்கான கேள்வி தொடர்கிறது – என்ன நடக்கிறது என்பதே தெரியாவிட்டால், என்ன செய்வது என்று எமக்கு எப்படித் தெரியும்? லிபியா மற்றும் சிரியா ஆகிய நாடுகளிலே அண்மை காலங்களிலே இடம்பெற்ற பூசல்களின்போது, அவை தொடர்கையிலேயே அவற்றை விசாரிப்பதற்கு ஐ.நா. ஒரு விசாரணை மன்றத்தை அமைத்து, ஐ.நா. இற்கு எந்த நடவடிக்கைகள் எடுக்கப்படலாம் என்பதைப் பரிந்துரைத்திருந்தது. ஆயினும், இந்த விசாரணைகள் நீடிய காலம் எடுக்கும் என்பதுடன், களநிலை அறிக்கையிடுதலுக்கு அவை மாற்றீடாக அமையவே அமையாது. ஆனால், ‘களநிலை அறிக்கையிடுதல்’ வல்லமையுள்ளதாய் இருப்பதை உறுதிசெய்வதற்கு அதன் நம்பகத்தன்மை மிக முக்கியமானதாகும். அதாவது, அது தொழிலாண்மை கொண்டதாயும் நேர்மையானதாயும் நடுநிலையானதாயும் இருக்கவேண்டும். அது ஒரு தரப்புக்குப் பக்கச்சார்பானதாகக் கண்டுகொள்ளப் படக்கூடாது. முன்நகர்ந்து செல்வதற்கு நாம் கற்கவேண்டிய பாடம் இதுவாகும். நாம் நேர்மையானவராயும், நிதர்சனமானவராயும், சகல பாதிப்புற்றோரினதும் மனித உரிமைகளைப் பாதுகாத்து அதனை ஊக்குவிக்கும் நிகழ்ச்சித் திட்டத்தைக் கொண்டவராயும் இருந்தால், சர்வதேச விடங்களிலே மாற்றங்களை விளைவிப்பதற்கு அவசியமான நம்பகத்தன்மையை உலகம் தரக்கூடிய சாத்தியம் உண்டு. நான் ஏற்கெனவே பகிர்ந்துகொண்டதைப்போல, எனது பேச்சின் இரண்டாம் பகுதியிலே நான் நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதியும் ஊடக சுதந்திரமும் பற்றிய விடயத்தைக் கவனத்திற் கொள்ள விரும்புகிறேன். அதாவது, குற்றங்கள் இழைக்கப்பட்ட பின்பு சமூகமானது அந்தக் கடந்தகாலக் குற்றங்களைக் கையாள எத்தனிக்கையிலே ஊடகத்தினதும் ஊடக சுதந்திரத்தினதும் வகிபங்கு என்ன என்பதே. பலவிதங்களிலே போர்க்குற்றச்செயல்கள் அம்சங்களிலே அறிக்கையிடும் இந்தப் பகுதி அவ்வளவு கிளர்ச்சியான அனுபவமாய் இராவிட்டாலுங்கூட, இதுவும் அதேபோலவே முக்கியமானதாகும். நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதி (Transitional Justice) என்பதால் நாம் கருதுவது என்ன? கடந்த காலங்களிலே பெருமளவிலான குற்றச்செயல்கள் இழைக்கப்பட்டுள்ள இடங்களிலே கடந்த காலத்தை மேற்கொள்வதற்கும் அதைக் கையாள்வதற்கும் சமூகம் மேற்கொள்ளும் படிமுறைகளே இவை. நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதிக்கு நான்கு தூண்கள் உண்டு. அதாவது. உண்மை, நீதி, திருத்தியமைப்பு மற்றும் மீள இடம்பெறாது என்பதற்கான உத்தரவாதம் ஆகியவைகள். எனவே, குற்றவியல் விசாரணைகள், வழக்குகள், உண்மை அறியும் ஆணைக்குழு, நிவாரண நிகழ்ச்சித்திட்டங்கள், மற்றும் நினைவுகள் ஆகிய அனைத்துமே நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதியின் பகுதிகளாகும். நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதியின் பிரதான கோரிக்கைளுள் ஒன்றுதான் அதன் பொறிமுறைகளின் வடிவமைப்பு மற்றும் அமுலாக்கம் ஆகியவற்றிலே பாதிக்கப்பட்டோர் ஈடுபடுவது பற்றியதாகும். எனவே, பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுடன் நேரடியாகத் தொடர்பாடுவதிலே பிரதானமான பொறுப்பை அரசாங்கம் கொண்டிருக்கும் அதேவேளை, இலங்கை போன்ற ஆயிரக்கணக்கான பாதிப்புற்றோர் உள்ள நிலையிலே, அவர்கள் அனைவரையும் நேரடியாக ஈடுபடுத்துவது என்பது சாத்தியமற்ற காரியமாகும். எனவே, சகல ஊடகங்களும் பல்வேறான நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதியின் பங்காளிகட்கிடையே நிலவும் தொடர்பாடற் பிளவைப் பாலமிடுவதிலே உதவும்பிரதான வகிபங்கை வகிக்கலாம். அது பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கும் அரசுக்கும் இடைப்பட்ட அல்லது பாதிகப்பட்டவர்களுக்கும் வேறு பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கும் இடைப்பட்ட அல்லது பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கும் சர்வதேச சமூகத்துக்கும் இடைப்பட்ட பிளவுகளையிட்டதாக இருக்கலாம். இந்த வகிபங்கினை வகிப்பதற்கு ஊடகம் சுயாதீனமானதாய் இருக்கவேண்டும். தொடரும் செயன்முறையினைக் கண்டித்து விமர்சிக்க இயலாத ஒரு சூழ்நிலையிலே அவர்கள் அமர்த்தப்படக்கூடாது. இரண்டாவதாக, அவர்கள் நிலைமாற்றுக்கால நீதியிலே பயிற்றப்பட்டு, அதிலே மேற்கொள்ளப்படும் செயன்முறைகளைப்பற்றிப் புரிந்துகொள்ளவேண்டும். இது மிக முக்கியம். இடம்பெறும் செயன்முறைகளின் வகைகள், அவற்றில் உள்ள குறைபாடுகள், அந்த செயன்முறைகளை மேம்படுத்துவதற்கு பரிந்துரைக்கும் வழிமுறைகள், அந்த செயன்முறைகளால் எதிர்பார்க்கப்படும் விளைவுகள் போன்றவற்றையிட்டு ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் புரிந்து கொண்டாலேயன்றி பாதிகப்பட்டவர்களும் பொதுமக்களும் அந்தச் செயன்முறைகளைப் பற்றிப்புரிந்துகொள்ள மாட்டார்கள். மிகவும் நேர்த்தியான செயன்முறைகளை நீங்கள் கொண்டிருந்தாலுங்கூட, பாதிக்கப்பட்டோர் அவற்றைப் புரிந்துகொண்டு அவற்றிலே பங்கெடுக்க இயலாதிருக்குமாயின், அதனால் பயனேதுமில்லை. எனவே, அச்சு மற்றும் ஊடகத் தொழிற்துறைத் தலைவர்கள் – குறிப்பாக வடக்கு மற்றும் கிழக்கில் உள்ளவர்கள் – அவர்களின் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் இந்த செயன்முறைகளிலே நன்கு பயிற்றப்பட்டு பாதிக்கப்பட்டோரின் நலன்களைச் சேவிப்பதை உறுதிசெய்யும் கடப்பாட்டைக் கொண்டவர்களாவார்கள். கடந்த வருடம் மார்ச் மாதத்திலே ஜெனீவாவில் இருந்து சில தமிழ்த்தரப்பினர்கள் ஜெனீவா முறைகள் பற்றியும் மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையின் தீர்மானம் பற்றியும் பல தப்பான தகவல்களைப் பரப்பியதை நாம் கண்டோம். தமிழர்களுக்கு அந்தத் தீர்மானத்தால் எவ்வித நன்மையும் கிட்டாது, அந்தத் தீர்மானத்திலே சர்வதேச விசாரணை எதுவுமே இல்லை, அது ஒரு பலவீனமான தீர்மானம் என்றும் கூறினார்கள். இந்தக் கூற்றுக்கள் பொய்யானவைகள் என்பது ஒருபுறமிருக்க, அவை எந்த மக்களின் நலனுக்காக நகர்த்தப்பட்டதோ அந்தக் மக்களைக் குழப்பிப்போட்டது. இதிலே நாம் கற்றுக்கொள்ளவேண்டிய பாடங்கள் உள்ளது. நிஜங்களையிட்ட எமது பதிலீடுகள் அவற்றையிட்ட சீரியஸான பகுப்பாய்விலும் தொழிற்தன்மையான அறிவிலும் தங்கியிருக்க வேண்டும்; அரசியல் விளையாட்டுக்களிலும் உணர்ச்சிப் பிரவா புக்களிலுமல்ல. தொடரும் செயன்முறைகள் பற்றிய நேர்மையான விபரிப்புகளுக்கும் நேர்மையற்ற விபரிப்புகளுக்கும் இடையே உள்ள வேறுபாட்டை இனங்கண்டுகொள்ளக்கூடிய விதத்திலே எமது ஊடவியலாளர்கள் பயிற்றுவிக்கப்படல் வேண்டும். பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களின் உண்மை அறிவதற்கும் நீதிக்குமான உரிமை முழுமையாக உணரப்படும் என்பதே எமது பொதுவான நம்பிக்கையாகும். அந்தச் சேவைக்காக எமது பணி அர்ப்பணிக்கப்படட்டும். ஊடக சுதந்திர தினத்தன்று யாழ். நூலக கேட்போர் கூடத்தில் நிறான் அங்கிற்றனால் நடத்தப்பட்ட பேச்சு இங்கு தரப்பட்டுள்ளது.

Published in Tamil

Part I - A hybrid court for Sri Lanka: An idea whose time has come

The last ten years have witnessed the proliferation of a number of internationally assisted courts – also called hybrid courts – throughout the globe, with varying degrees of success. Many more countries are in the process of considering the establishment of similar courts as well. Hybrid courts combine the relative advantages of domestic as well as international justice, while minimizing the drawbacks of both. The use of professional and experienced international judges and lawyers has helped dramatically raise the credibility and independence of hybrid courts. Yet, since hybrid courts function within the legal system of a given country, they have significantly better compliance and implementation records than international courts, and help create national ownership over the important work of punishing international crimes.

More than five years since the end of the war, the imperative to credibly deal with the past in Sri Lanka is stronger than ever. Most fundamentally, the new government's efforts to promote good governance and the rule of law require a serious approach to dealing with credible allegations of atrocious conduct by both sides, especially during the last stages of the war. In particular, unless state violence is punished and curbed, the wounds of the war will continue to fester while new ones are created. Moreover, the impunity afforded to state violence in the past has led to a military and security apparatus that enjoys near invincibility with respect to its actions. Sri Lanka therefore needs to break dramatically with the past, and a process of attributing criminal liability for the most egregious crimes is a necessary starting point.

While some international observers believe the new government should be generously afforded the time and space to develop its own mechanisms, the reality is that Sri Lanka's record of domestic accountability throughout its post-independence history has been characterized by a lack of political will, lack of capacity, political interference and chronic failure. To expect victims to put their trust in familiar domestic mechanisms that have failed time and again is unfair and unwise.

Yet, the actualization of international justice with respect to Sri Lanka appears fraught and unlikely in the short to medium term. Further, foreign and purely international courts – except in the case of ad hoc tribunals established by the Security Council in respect of the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda – prosecute, at best, only a handful of perpetrators from each situation. In the vast majority of cases, foreign and international justice takes decades to achieve, with no assurances of success. It is an idea whose time has come. Generating the political will to establish a hybrid court in Sri Lanka will not be easy. But, as this paper argues, a fully functional hybrid court could be structured within Sri Lanka's legal system in a way that is entirely compatible with the existing constitution. A legislative package passed by a simple majority in Parliament along with incidental regulatory changes could establish a uniquely Sri Lankan hybrid model. Further, there appears to be some support from influential sections of the new government for some form of international assistance for domestic accountability processes. At least two senior Ministers, including the Foreign Minister, have publicly acknowledged the possibility of international judges and technical assistance for domestic trials in Sri Lanka.1 To be clear, a hybrid court will not be a panacea to Sri Lanka's deep Transitional Justice needs. But, if handled with care and professionalism, it could help break with the past and help herald a new era of accountability and human rights protection; essential components in Sri Lanka's quest for reconciliation.

Part II - Internationally Assisted Courts

The last decade has witnessed the proliferation of internationally assisted courts in a variety of continents and contexts. These courts now offer a viable alternative to purely international and domestic forms of justice. This Part briefly examines the establishment, applicable law and hybrid structure of five of the best known internationally assisted courts: the Special Court for Sierra Leone; the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia; the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; the War Crimes Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and the Special Panels in East Timor. The structures, institutions and modalities adopted by these courts should inform the choices made in Sri Lanka with respect to accountability for past crimes.

2.1 The definition and purpose of internationally assisted courts

Internationally assisted courts (also referred to as hybrid courts) are specialized courts that are established in certain instances for the adjudication of criminal liability following the commission of international crimes. These courts are referred to as 'hybrid' because 'both the institutional apparatus and the applicable law consist of a blend of the international and the domestic'.2

Hybrid courts are typically characterized by the following features: hybridity in the personnel involved in the trials; the application of international criminal law exclusively or alongside domestic offences; the presence of specialized 'trial' and 'appeal' chambers; and limited temporal, personal and material jurisdiction. Further, they are typically ad hoc courts established to function within a limited time frame and incorporated into the domestic legal framework through legislation or ratification. They are also almost always housed within the country in which the alleged international crimes took place.

2.2 Establishment and Applicable Law
2.2.1 Establishment

Hybrid courts have been established by a variety of means, and have incorporated domestic and international participation at varied levels.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) was established under a joint agreement between the United Nations (UN) and the Government of Sierra Leone,3 and is thus a treaty-based criminal court. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) was similarly based on an agreement between the UN and the Government of Cambodia, but the founding document of the court was subsequently enacted by the Cambodian legislature.4 Other hybrid courts have been established through purely international processes. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was created by the UN Security Council Resolution 1757, while the War Crimes Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina (WCC) was created by way of an agreement between the Office of the High Representative (OHR) – an international functionary who exercised real executive power in terms of the Dayton Peace Accord – and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).5 UN mechanisms were also responsible for the establishment of the Special Panels for the District Court of Dili, which was established by the United Nations Temporary Authority in East Timor (UNTAET).6

2.2.2 Applicable Law

The laws applicable to the hybrid courts were in some instances defined by special statutes established for the court; in some by UN mechanisms which laid out the applicable legal framework; and in others, purely by existing or revised domestic law. Further, these courts often apply a mix of international and domestic criminal law, though only domestic law was applied in some cases like Lebanon and Bosnia.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone applied its own Statute and was granted the jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed under international humanitarian law and certain crimes under the laws of Sierra Leone, committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996.7 Similarly, the Law on Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia sought to apply international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as certain domestic crimes to the period in which the Khmer Rouge controlled Cambodia between 1975 and 1979.8 The Special Tribunal for Lebanon also applied its own Statute,9 but Article 2 of the statute defines the applicable law by reference to the provisions of the Lebanese Criminal Code regarding acts of terrorism, crimes and offences against life and personal integrity, illicit association and failure to report crimes and offences. It also incorporates provisions from Lebanese law with regard to increasing the penalties for sedition, civil war and interfaith struggle.11 In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the War Crimes Chamber applies the 2003 Criminal Code of BiH and the 2006 Criminal Procedure Code, and since 2009 has applied the 1976 Criminal Code of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) in some cases.12 In East Timor, UNTAET Regulations defined the legal framework applicable to the Special Panels.13 The UNTAET Regulation was based on the Statute of the International Criminal Court as regards the definition of international crimes,14 and domestic Indonesian laws prior to 25 October 1999 were enforceable to the extent that they did not contravene international human rights standards.15

2.3 Personnel

The composition of the key positions within these hybrid courts – judges, prosecutors, investigators, defence lawyers and administrators – are politically sensitive. Thus, the negotiations leading to the establishment of these courts – typically between a government and the United Nations – have focused heavily on the ratio between domestic and international personnel, in particular with respect to judges and prosecutors. Thus, the final outcome often reflects not merely the needs of the particular country, but political sensitivities on the ground and relative bargaining positions of the international community and the national government.

2.3.1 Judges

The Special Court for Sierra Leone comprised 8 to 11 independent judges, who would be assigned to the Trial and Appeal Chambers. The Trial Chamber was composed of three judges – one to be appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone, and two to be appointed by the Secretary General of the UN. Similarly of the five judges in the Appeal Chamber, two were to be appointed by Sierra Leone, and three by the UN.16

By contrast, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia comprised a majority of national judges. The Pre- Trial and Trial Chamber consisted of five judges, three national (one of who was the President) and two international,17 while the Supreme Court Chamber comprised of seven judges, four national (one of who was President) and three international.18 However, to prevent decisions splitting down nationalinternational lines, all decisions in any of the Chambers had to be taken in accordance with the 'super majority' principle. This requires that decisions be taken on a 'simple majority plus one' basis.19

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon had 11 to 14 judges to be appointed to the Pre-Trial Chamber, the Trial Chamber and the Appeal Chamber.20 The balance of interests between the Government and the international community was evidenced in the structure of the appointment of judges. In instances of a Pre- Trial Chamber, a single international judge presided.21 The Trial Chamber usually comprised three judges, with one domestic judge and two international judges.22 The Appeal Chamber comprised five judges, two domestic and three international.23

The War Crimes Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina has four trial panels of three judges each, while the Appellate Chamber sits as a full bench. However the composition of judges in the WCC underwent a change over time. At the commencement in 2005, each panel comprised two international judges and one national judge. In 2008 however, the composition was reversed to include two national judges and one international judge.24 The selection of national judges followed a similar process to the ordinary procedure, whereby the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) appointed judges who were then assigned to specific Divisions (including the WCC) by the President of the State Court.25 The international judges were at first appointed by the Office of the High Representative,26 but since July 2006, the HJPC also appointed the international judges through a competitive process.27 These international judges were required to have eight years of international criminal law experience.28 Thus, the WCC model represents the incremental localization of the court, given knowledge transfers from the international to the domestic and increase in domestic capacity over time.

The Special Panels in East Timor also had a majority of international judges, with the District Court of Dili and the Court of Appeal comprising two international judges and one domestic judge.29 In cases of special importance, a panel of five judges would preside with three international judges and two domestic judges.30

2.3.2 Prosecutor

The unbiased and effective functioning of many of these hybrid courts depends upon the independence and competence of prosecutors. As such, a significant number of hybrid courts make provision for experienced and independent international prosecutors with domestic counterparts.

In the case of Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the UN Secretary General appointed the Prosecutor.31 The Statutes of the SCSL and the STL mandated that the Deputy Prosecutor be a local.32 In contrast, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia used a model of co-prosecution, with a Cambodian prosecutor and an international prosecutor working simultaneously. All subordinate prosecutorial positions in the court featured a Cambodian counterpart to an international appointee.33

The Prosecution Unit of the War Crimes Chamber in BiH also employed international staff, though the Chief Prosecutor and the heads of the six prosecution teams were required to be BiH nationals.

In East Timor, the UNTAET created the Public Prosecution Service for East Timor.34 Here, the Office of the General Prosecutor was divided into two departments under Deputy General Prosecutors – one of whom dealt with ordinary crimes, while the other dealt with serious crimes including prosecutions in the Special Panels.35 A staff of East Timorese and international experts supported the Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes, through the Serious Crimes Unit.36

2.3.3 Investigators

The investigators supporting the prosecution in hybrid courts have either functioned as an autonomous unit, or been housed within the prosecution. For instance, the investigation unit was a part of the Office of the Prosecutor in the Special Court for Sierra Leone and Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and included domestic as well as international investigators.37 In fact, the investigative unit of the SCSL has been recognized as 'an exemplary model of national- international teamwork'.38 In Lebanon, investigators, forensic experts and analysts, including former and serving Police Officers with experience in the relevant area, assist the Prosecutor.39

In contrast, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, influenced by Cambodia's French colonial past, used investigative judges with one Cambodian and one international co-investigating judge leading the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges.40

In the case of War Crimes Chamber of BiH and the East Timor Special Panels, the investigative units were specialized domestic bodies empowered to deal with the prosecution of international crimes. The investigators of the SDWC of BiH belong to the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA). Within the SIPA, the body authorized to conduct investigations into war crimes was the War Crimes Investigation Centre and some SIPA investigators were assigned exclusively to the prosecution.41 In East Timor, the Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes (DGPSC) – assisted by the Special Crimes Unit – was given exclusive authority over the investigation of serious crimes for the purpose of prosecution, and included international as well as domestic investigators.42

2.3.4 Defence

The provision of competent defence lawyers to persons accused of grave crimes is critical to the provision of due process and a fair trial. Thus, international best practice requires that legal representation is provided to all accused, including through legal aid for indigent defendants. A number of hybrid courts have established defence units to coordinate and administer the provision of legal support to defendants.

In the Special Court for Sierra Leone, a Defence Office was established which comprised a Defence Advisor and three Duty Counsel headed by the Principle Defender, together with administrative support.43 Upon the arrest of an individual, the Defence Office provides legal advice through a duty counsel, and the Defendant could subsequently retain his own counsel.44

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia features a Defence Support Section which is responsible for providing indigent accused with a list of lawyers who may defend them, as well as legal and administrative support to lawyers assigned to work on cases, including the payment of fees.45 Defendants have the option of retaining one Cambodian lawyer and one international lawyer to lead his/her defence team, which are staffed also by Cambodian and international lawyers, investigators and analysts.

The Defence Office in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an independent organ court and engages inter alia in developing a list of counsel and assigning counsel to indigent accused and those tried in absentia, provision of legal research, advice and operational support to defence counsel, and monitoring the activities of the defence counsel to better ensure the protection of the rights of the accused.46 The UN Secretary General and the President of the Special Tribunal appoint the Head of the Defence Office.47 Defendants are entitled to be represented by international lawyers.

With respect to the War Crimes Chamber in BiH, the Registry established a Criminal Defence Support Section (Odsjek Krivicne Odbrane or OKO) but this subsequently evolved into an independent institution.48 Initially, an international director and deputy were in charge of OKO, but by May 2007, the institution was nationalized.49

In East Timor, the UNTAET did not provide for the establishment of a public defenders' office in respect of the Special Panels,50 and the office of the public defender was funded by way of the general budget of East Timor. 51 Resultantly a few NGO funded international lawyers and Timorese public defenders were assigned for the purpose of representing the accused. As the Serious Crimes Unit was staffed by a majority of international prosecutors, the inequality of experience between the prosecution and the defence resulted in no witnesses being called on behalf of the defence in the initial 14 trials before the Special Panels.52 The United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) eventually established a separate Defence Lawyers Unit (DLU),53 which employed only international staff.54

2.3.5 Victims’ Support

The most recent hybrid tribunals have gone to significant lengths, not merely to protect witnesses and victims from harassment and intimidation, but also support them through the trial process by providing a range of services to them, including legal representation.

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia is particularly notable in this regard. Victims are permitted to submit complaints to the Co-Prosecutors, who are to take the interests of Victims into account when considering whether to initiate prosecutions. Victims may also participate as Civil Parties in proceedings. In this capacity, they are recognized as parties and participate fully in the proceedings, and are allowed to seek collective and moral reparations. The court structure includes a Victims' Support Section which undertakes a number of functions. It informs victims about their rights, and assists them in filing complaints to the Co-Prosecutors and make civil party applications. This entails the provision of assistance in obtaining legal advice or a lawyer as well as supporting retained legal representatives. The Section also maintains contact with victims and their lawyers regarding the status of their complaints and applications, and keeps them updated regarding developments in individual cases. It also carries out outreach programmes. Finally, the Section monitors the security of victims participating in the proceedings, provides security and protective measures, and offers other services including the provision of psychosocial support.55

The registries in the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon also make support available to victims through Victims and Witnesses Units. These units provide short-term and long-term support and protection to any individual called as a witness by the Prosecution or the Defence. In terms of Article 16 of the SCSL Statute, the Unit is to provide 'protective measures and security arrangements, counseling and other appropriate assistance for witnesses, victims who appear before the Court and others who are at risk on account of testimony given by such witnesses.' Similarly, the Victims Unit in the STL is responsible for implementing the necessary measures to protect the safety, physical and psychological wellbeing, dignity, and privacy of victims and witnesses, and others at risk on account of testimony, or their interaction with the Tribunal.56 The Witness Support Section of the War Crimes Chamber in BiH also provides witness protection and psychosocial services.57

In contrast, in East Timor, owing to a lack of funding, there was never an effective witness and victim protection program. As a consequence, a significant number of cases of witness intimidation were recorded with respect to witnesses involved with the Special Panels.58


Agrowing number of countries that face legacies of serious and systematic international crimes are increasingly resorting to hybrid courts to prosecute those crimes. However, there is no singular model, either for the establishment of a hybrid court, or for the way in which domestic and international personnel are featured in the different functions of the court. The specificities of each country call for diverse responses in the design and implementation of hybrid courts. It is critical, therefore, that the domestic constitutional, legal and regulatory order within a country is fully understood by those advocating for or designing a hybrid court.

Part III - Overview of the Criminal Justice System in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a hierarchical system of common law courts that largely reflects the structures established during the colonial encounter. The relationships between these courts, their respective jurisdictional limits and the system of appeals are regulated by the constitution, and by legislation. While the Constitution – Sri Lanka's supreme law – delineates the jurisdiction of the higher courts and lays down certain rules with respect to the appointment of judges, other legislative provisions detail the ways in which jurisdiction may be exercised and flesh out modalities by which the courts are to function and operate.

Part IV of this paper contends that a fully functional and internationally assisted specialized court structure could be established in Sri Lanka within the existing constitutional structure, and would only require a comprehensive legislative package complemented by specific regulatory changes to subordinate legislation by executive functionaries.

This part deals with the existing legal structure pertaining to criminal justice, with a view to identifying how best an internationally assisted court may be introduced within Sri Lanka.

3.1 Hierarchy of the system of criminal courts

Sri Lanka's court structure with regard to criminal matters consists of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, High Courts and Magistrate's Courts.

The Constitution declares that all courts, tribunals and other institutions other than the Supreme Court which existed at the time of the promulgation of the Second Republic Constitution in 1978 are deemed to be created and established by Parliament.59 Thus, Parliament may replace, abolish or amend the powers, duties, jurisdiction and procedure of such courts, tribunals and institutions.60 Further, Article 105 (1) (c) provides that Parliament may, from time to time, ordain and establish other courts of first instance, tribunals or other institutions.

The Magistrate's Court and the High Court are the only courts with primary jurisdiction (also known as 'original jurisdiction') in criminal cases.61 Appeals from these courts of first instance can be made to the Court of Appeal, and in some circumstances, to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court exercises final appellate jurisdiction in all matters.

3.1.1 The Magistrate’s Court

The Magistrate's Court, established under Section 5 of the Judicature Act No. 2 of 1978 (as amended), has exclusive original jurisdiction over all criminal cases that involve fines up to Rs. 1500 or prison sentences of up to two years.62 Trials are conducted without a jury, and a Magistrate delivers the verdict and the sentence.

3.1.2 The High Court

The High Court is the highest Court of first instance for criminal matters,63 and exercises original jurisdiction for all matters involving a fine of over Rs. 1500 or imprisonment for a period longer than two years.

The law provides for the option of a trial by jury in cases of more serious offences before the High Court,64 including crimes against the State, murder, culpable homicide, attempted murder and rape. In cases where the law does not prescribe trial by jury or where the option is not availed, a judge delivers the verdict and passes sentence at the conclusion of the hearing.65

An appeal from the conviction or judgment of the High Court to the Court of Appeal on any matter of law or fact may be presented by way of a petition of appeal or by application for leave to appeal.66 Where the Provincial High Court exercises original criminal jurisdiction under Article 154P(3)(a) or revisionary jurisdiction under Article 154P(3)(b) of the Constitution, such appeal lies to the Court of Appeal.67 An appeal from a final order, judgment, degree or sentence of a Provincial High Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction shall lie to the Supreme Court, with the leave to appeal of the High Court or the Supreme Court in its discretion.68

3.1.3 Trial at Bar

A Trial at Bar is held before three judges of the High Court without a jury.69

This system of trial is applicable for the trial of any person for any offence punishable under sections 114,70 11571 or 11672 of the Penal Code; where the Chief Justice is of the opinion that owing to the nature of the offence or the circumstances of and relating to the commission of the offence, the interests of justice require it;73 or at the discretion of the Chief Justice for an offence committed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.74

An appeal from any judgment, sentence or order pronounced at a Trial at Bar, shall lie to the Supreme Court.75 A bench of not less than five Judges of the Supreme Court shall hear such appeal.76

3.1.4 The Court of Appeal

Article 138 of the Constitution provides that the Court of Appeal has appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases. This does not mean, however, that all criminal appeals must necessarily be heard by the Court of Appeal. Numerous authorities have held that Article 138 is only an enabling provision and that the right to avail of that jurisdiction is governed by legislation.77 Thus, there is no constitutional right to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Any provision for such an appeal may be provided – and by necessary implication, be removed – by legislation.

An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any judgment or order of the Court of Appeal in any appeal from the High Court or the Magistrate's Court, if the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court in its discretion, grants leave to appeal.78

3.1.5 The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to exercise final appellate jurisdiction in respect of all matters in fact or law.79 However, in terms of Article 128 of the Constitution, a constitutional right to appeal to the Supreme Court only exists with respect to appeals from the Court of Appeal which involve a substantial question of law.

3.2 Revision and Appeal

The Court of Appeal is vested with 'sole and exclusive cognizance' to, inter alia, exercise revisionary jurisdiction on matters decided before a Court of first instance, by correcting 'all errors in fact or in law' committed by such Courts and to make orders in the 'interests of justice'.80 The Provincial High Court is also vested with the authority to exercise revisionary jurisdiction in respect of convictions, sentences and orders entered or imposed by Magistrate's Courts within the Province.81 Accordingly, both the Court of Appeal and the Provincial High Court are vested with concurrent jurisdiction in this regard.82

Revision is a constitutional remedy made available to litigants through the Court of Appeal, which is granted at the discretion of the Court under special circumstances, and cannot be invoked as a matter of right.83 The objective of the remedy is to ensure the 'correct administration of justice and the correction of errors' that might have occurred.84 In an application for revision, the party 'has to apply for the discretion of Court to intervene and set right the error occurring in the judgment or order of the lower Court.85 In such a situation the Court will only consider the legality and procedural correctness of the judgment or order.86

In matters of revision, the practice of the Court of Appeal is to refrain from the exercise of its powers in instances where an alternate remedy (such as an appeal) is available to the applicant.87 However, it is now well-established law that the Court will exercise its power of revision even where an alternate remedy is available, only if the applicant can prove the existence of 'exceptional circumstances' which make such revision necessary.888

By contrast, jurisdiction to entertain an appeal must be 'expressly created and granted by statute' and is thus a statutory right.89 If a party is dissatisfied with the judgment or order of a lower Court, they may file a petition of appeal where permitted by law to do so. In such instances the appellate court would consider the 'legality and reasonableness of the judgment or order'.90

The conditions on which an appellate court may entertain an appeal are regulated by statute, and the grounds upon which the Court is permitted to grant relief are specified in the statute and known as 'permitted grounds for appeal'.91 In certain instances, the right of appeal is conditional and depends upon the Court granting leave to appeal (where it is stipulated by statute).92 Moreover, the Supreme Court has discretionary authority to grant special leave to appeal in instances where the Court of Appeal has refused to grant leave to appeal to the Supreme Court or where the Supreme Court believes the matter should be reviewed.93 Further, the Supreme Court is bound to grant special leave in all matters where it is satisfied that the question to be decided is of 'public or general importance'.94

3.3 Personnel
3.3.1 Judges

The Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, and every other Judge of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal are appointed by the President of the Republic, upon approval by the Constitutional Council which in turn shall be upon a recommendation to the Council by the President.95

The Judges of the High Court shall on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission,96 be appointed by the President, consequent to a consultation with the Attorney General.97 Furthermore, where the Minister of Justice represents to the President that the number of judges of the High Court in a particular zone should temporarily be increased, the President may appoint one or more Commissioners of the High Court.98 All such Commissioners are vested with all the rights, powers, privileges and immunities of a Judge of the High Court.99

The power to formulated schemes of recruitment and appoint Magistrates lies with the Judicial Service Commission.100

The Judicial Service Commission comprises the Chief Justice and two other judges of the Supreme Court appointed by the President subject to the approval of the Constitutional Council.101

3.3.2 Prosecutors

Section 393 of the Criminal Procedure Code empowers the Attorney General to forward an indictment directly to the High Court. Once a trial commences, the Prosecution may only be conducted by the Attorney General, Solicitor-General, State Counsel or an Attorney-at-Law generally or specifically authorized by the Attorney General for that particular purpose.102

Further, the Attorney General, in terms of section 393 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is empowered to participate in and effectively control investigations. He thus has the right, in terms of the law, to: give advice, whether on application or on his own initiative to State Departments, public officers, officers of the police and officers in corporations in any criminal matter of importance or difficulty; and summon any officer of the State or of a corporation or of the police to attend his office with any books or documents and there interview him for the purpose of initiating or prosecuting any criminal proceeding, or giving advice in any criminal matter of importance or difficulty. Further, the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent of Police in charge of a division is bound to provide a comprehensive report to the Attorney- General of every offence committed within his area where preliminary investigation is imperative; or for the institution of proceedings; or where a request has been made by the Attorney-General; or in other circumstances also specified in the Code.

3.3.3 Defence Attorneys

The Supreme Court enrolls persons of 'good repute and of competent knowledge and ability' as Attorneys-at-Law.103 These Attorneys-at-Law are entitled to 'appear, plead or act in every Court or other institution established by law for the administration of justice'.104 Every person accused before any criminal court is entitled as of right, to be defended by an Attorney-at-Law.105

3.3.4 Investigators

The law on the investigation of offences and the powers of investigative officers is laid out in Part V, Chapter XI of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Chapter refers to the powers of investigation given to both Police Officers and Inquirers.

The powers and duties of a police officer or Inquirer includes, but is not limited to, the examination of witnesses,106 the power to arrest or to direct arrest107 and the taking of finger impressions or any specimens of blood etc.108 The Magistrate is further required to assist in the conduct of the investigation.109 Further, any Police Officer, not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police, may take over an investigation or direct which police officers should undertake the conduct of the investigation.110


Given Sri Lanka's judicial structure, there are two identifiable options available with respect to establishing a hybrid court: to structure a hybrid court within the existing system of criminal courts, or establish a discrete specialized court. These questions will be considered in the following section.

Part IV - Structuring Sri Lankan Criminal Law and Procedure to Facilitate Internationally Supported Trials

For the reasons detailed in Part I, the effective prosecution of international crimes requires a dramatic break with the past: including through the incorporation of international crimes and modes of liability into Sri Lankan law; and the inclusion of competent international personnel within the criminal justice system dealing with those crimes.

To do this, Sri Lanka must consider a wide variety of options derived from hybrid court models previously implemented in other countries, or experiment with models devised and structured at home. That process of devising and implementing prosecution processes will require deep consultation with victims and civil society, a point repeatedly reiterated by international and domestic stakeholders.

This Part contends that a functioning hybrid court could be instituted within the country through a comprehensive legislative package which could be passed with a simple majority in Parliament. In other words, the creation of a hybrid court on the lines recommended in this Part would not entail any inconsistency with the existing provisions of the Constitution. Instead, it would be fully compatible with it, and would thus not require a two-thirds special majority in Parliament.

4.1 Establishment and Applicable Law
4.1.1 Establishment

As discussed in Part III, since Article 105 (1) (c) of the Constitution provides that Parliament may ordain and establish courts of first instance, tribunals or other institutions; the establishment and empowerment of a court or tribunal is clearly within the purview of the legislature.

Thus, the Government of Sri Lanka could, acting on its own, or by special agreement with the international community, create a court or tribunal empowered with the specific task of inquiring and adjudicating on international crimes in Sri Lanka. This court's material jurisdiction would need to be defined, and consideration must be given to whether the court's temporal and personal jurisdiction should also be defined. That is, should the court only prosecute crimes committed during a certain period, and should it be limited to those bearing greatest responsibility for crimes? The establishment of a court on these lines would require an Act of Parliament. The fundamental necessity and benefit of a separate court to deal with international crimes is clear. A court exercising jurisdiction over international crimes must necessarily be specialized in that field; a specialty in which very few – if any – judges in the Sri Lankan legal system are trained or have sufficient knowledge. Further, the chronic inefficiencies and delays in Sri Lanka's legal system must not be allowed to infect trials that will necessarily be sensitive, and viewed by many victims as fundamental to the pursuit of reconciliation. Moreover, all hybrid models almost always feature a separate court structure, through which international participation could be channeled.

This separate court could either be established as a specialized division of the High Court, or as a discrete court of first instance. The material jurisdiction of this specially established court could be restricted to specified international crimes such as war crimes and crimes against humanity; while its temporal jurisdiction will have to be negotiated and determined with a view to satisfying all victim groups in Sri Lanka. Further, the animating logic of a specialized court requires that it have exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes over which it has jurisdiction, which is to say that such crimes should only be prosecuted in the specialized court for the duration of the court's existence.

Since the raison d'être of the creation of a specialized trial court to hear international crimes would be undermined if routine appellate matters relating to its cases are not also heard by a similarly specialized court, it stands to reason that a specialized appellate institution tasked solely with appellate jurisdiction corresponding to the subject matter jurisdiction of the trial court must also be established. An appellate institution could also, in terms of Article 105 (1) (c), be created by legislation.

A right of appeal to the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court from a specialized trial court or a specialized appellate court is not constitutionally mandated, even though the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court possess appellate jurisdiction over criminal matters and final appellate jurisdiction respectively.111

A final appeal to the Supreme Court may thus be dispensed with. While there may be a temptation to prevent a nonspecialized Supreme Court from hearing final appeals in respect of international crimes, caution must be exercised in this regard. As previously discussed in Part III, the Court of Appeal has exercised its discretionary powers of revision – a constitutional remedy – where alternatives remedies of appeal do not exist.112 Thus, the exclusion of a final appeal to the Supreme Court may lead to a proliferation of revision cases in the Court of Appeal from the specialized courts.

Moreover, the grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court may be restricted to certain classes of appeal: for instance, to permit appeals only in respect of substantial questions of domestic procedural or constitutional law, with leave to appeal from the appellate body or special leave from the Supreme Court. In this way, the Supreme Court's jurisdiction could be restricted to questions of domestic law in which it has competence, whereas questions of international law are left to the specialized trial and appellate institutions. Further, greater protection could be afforded to appeals arising from the specialized courts, by way of a requirement that a bench of not less than a particular number of judges of the Supreme Court hear such final appeals.113

4.1.2 Applicable Law

Sri Lanka's substantive criminal law does not criminalize war crimes and crimes against humanity. Further, Sri Lankan law does not recognize modes of liability in international criminal law. These modes of liability include, but are not limited to, indirect perpetration,114 joint criminal enterprise,115 coperpetration, 116 and superior/command responsibility.117

While the Penal Code and existing criminal legislation criminalize acts such as murder, rape and torture; war crimes and crimes against humanity are not offences under domestic law.118 The prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity as regular domestic offences is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. First, the criminalization of war crimes and crimes against humanity reflects a society's commitment to preventing mass atrocities that are not necessarily reflected in Penal Code offences. Second, prosecuting international crimes as regular Penal Code offences ignores the widespread, systematic and structural elements that inhere in the definitions of international crimes. Consequently, the prosecution of international crimes as regular domestic crimes would likely lead to a narrower focus than that required by international crimes, and thus fail to explore the systemic and scale elements of atrocity crimes. Third, prosecuting atrocity crimes as international crimes opens up a wealth of jurisprudence and international precedent for judges and lawyers, whilst prosecuting the same acts as domestic crimes would place lawyers and judges in uncharted legal territory. This is because regular domestic crimes have not been drafted with the intention of being applied in mass atrocity situations. Finally, domestic crimes do not include modes of liability developed within international criminal law, which are necessary and appropriate to the prosecution of crimes in mass atrocity situations.119

Thus, a legislative amendment recognizing war crimes and crimes against humanity as offences within Sri Lankan law is necessary to establish any effective accountability in respect of the past. Typically, retrospective criminal legislation is impermissible under Sri Lankan and international human rights law.120 However, the Sri Lankan constitution and international law carve out exceptions to the rule against retrospective criminal laws in respect of offences that have crystallized within customary international law at the time of commission. Article 13(6) of the Constitution provides that 'nothing in this Article shall prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations.'121 In fact, in Sepala Ekanayake’s case, the Court of Appeal cited Article 13(6) in upholding a conviction against a person prosecuted under a retrospective piece of legislation criminalizing hijacking,122 pursuant to which his conviction was also upheld by the Supreme Court.123 Thus, the entire gamut of international crimes that formed part of customary international law may be applied retrospectively in Sri Lanka, provided they were criminal at the time of commission.

In order to prosecute international crimes, international modes of liability must also be made enforceable within our legal system. This could also be done by way of a legislative amendment.

4.2 Personnel
4.2.1 Judges

The effective adjudication of international crimes in a hybrid court relies upon a judiciary experienced in international criminal law and trial practice. While the composition and the number of judges of the trial and appellate courts would have to be determined, amendments to existing legislative provisions together with certain incidental administrative arrangements could permit the recruitment of international judges to the bench.

the event the specialized court is sought to be established as a division within the High Court, existing constitutional provisions relating to the appointment of judges to the High Court must be complied with. Article 111 (2) (a) of the Constitution provides that judges of the High Court be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) – a body comprising the Chief Justice and two other judges of the Supreme Court – after consultation with the Attorney General.124 The President may thus appoint international judges to a hybrid court in the same manner by which judges are appointed to the High Court. Incidental amendments will be required to the Rules of the JSC. The JSC's rulemaking power extends to schemes of recruitment and training, appointment, promotion and transfer of judges of the High Court.125 These amendments would thus have to permit the JSC to recommend to the President the appointment of international judges to the specialized court, either through the direct recruitment of international persons, or through a system by which the United Nations or other international body provides the JSC with a list of suitable international candidates from which the JSC may recommend some or all to the President. Amendments would also have to be made to the JSC Rules to the effect that the international judges appointed are posted to the specialized court, and are not included in the general roster of High Court judges subject to regular rules on transfer and promotion. Rules will also have to be promulgated on the scheme of recruitment, mode of appointment, terms of appointment, and disciplinary control of judges appointed to the court.

The Constitution also provides that Commissioners of the High Court may be appointed to exercise the powers of judges of the High Court. However, this option could only be exercised upon recommendation by the Minister of Justice in certain situations.126 Where a recommendation is made, the President may – on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission – appoint individuals within the judicial zone specified in the Minister's representation. These Commissioners would be constitutionally guaranteed the same rights, powers, privileges and immunities as a Judge of the High Court.127

In the alternative event that the specialized court is established as a discrete court within the judicial hierarchy that is distinct from the High Court, the power of appointment of judges to that court will lie exclusively with the Judicial Services Commission.128 Here too, incidental amendments to the JSC Rules to permit the appointment of international judges would be necessary; as would provisions relating to the scheme of recruitment, modes of appointment, terms of appointment and disciplinary control of the court's judges.

Likewise, appointments to a specialized appellate court or chamber would have to follow the identical process of appointment by the Judicial Services Commission.

4.2.2 Prosecutors

The effectiveness of a hybrid court relies upon specialized prosecutors who are knowledgeable and experienced in the practice of international criminal law. To fulfill these criteria, hybrid courts have often chosen to employ international personnel in the office of the national prosecutor, or have established a specialized prosecutor's office comprising both domestic and international prosecutors and staff. In fact, past Presidential Commissions of Inquiry have recommended the establishment of an independent prosecutor's unit for the purposes of dealing with select crimes.129

In Sri Lanka, the power of prosecuting offences in the High Court and Magistrates' Courts lies with officers of the Attorney General's Department or Attorneys-at-Law appointed by the Attorney General.130 Thus, the power of prosecuting offices in a criminal court other than the High Court and Magistrate's Court – in the event a discrete specialized court is established outside the High Court – has not been specified by law. As a consequence, Parliament by legislation could establish an independent prosecutor's office outside the Attorney General's Department, and empower it to conduct such prosecutions. Further, the legislative provisions themselves, or amendments to the Establishment Code – a piece of subordinate legislation governing public administration – could provide for the appointment of international personnel to that office.

In the event a prosecution unit is established within the Attorney General's Department, amendments would have to be made to the Establishment Code to enable the appointment of international personnel to a unit within the Attorney General's Department. However, in the event of the establishment of an independent prosecutor's office, legislative amendments may directly provide for the appointment of international personnel to that office. Further, they must explicitly vest in the independent prosecutor the powers otherwise exercisable by the Attorney General in respect of criminal investigations and trials. Incidental amendments to the Establishment Code would also be appropriate.

4.2.3 Right of Audience and Defence Counsel

Any litigant is entitled to be represented in court in person or by an Attorney-at-Law acting on his/her behalf. An Attorney-at- Law is an individual who has been admitted and enrolled before the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.131 It is only Attorneys-at-Law who, in terms of section 41 of the Judicature Act, are entitled to assist and advise clients and to appear, plead or act in a court of law.

Thus, for international personnel to be provided the right of audience in specialized courts, legislative provisions that effectively amend section 40 of the Judicature Act for the limited purposes of providing a right of audience within the specialized courts must be introduced. Further, these provisions could stipulate that while the right of audience is limited to prosecutions initiated in the specialized courts, they may also extend to appeals and revision applications filed in the Supreme Court or Court of appeal, as the case may be.

Legislative provisions on these lines would apply to both prosecutors and defence counsel. It is of vital importance that, in the event international crimes are introduced to Sri Lanka's substantive law, persons accused of these crimes are entitled to be represented by lawyers experienced in international criminal law and practice. Thus, the option of retaining international lawyers proficient in the area must exist.

A Defence Support Unit would also ideally be established by law or administrative arrangement for the provision of representation for indigent accused, in line with international best practice.

4.2.4 Investigators

Part V of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with the subject of investigations, and contemplates the conduct of investigations by police officers or inquirers. Section 108 of the Code makes provision for the appointment of an Inquirer by the Minister, by name or office.132 Thus, an independent prosecutor's office – if established – could be named as the Inquirer in respect of international crimes, and be staffed by international and domestic investigators. However, section 125 of the Code allows any police officer not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police, to take over any investigation or to direct the conduct of such investigation.133 This provision must therefore be amended to avoid interference with the work of an independent prosecutor.

In the event prosecutions are conducted by a specialized unit within the Attorney General's Department, the appointment of an independent investigative unit tasked with investigating international crimes may be appropriate. Such a unit would ideally be established outside the Department of Police. Once again, incidental legislative provisions establishing that unit, empowering it with investigative powers, specifying the modalities of its interaction with the prosecutor, and protecting it from external interference must be introduced.

A collaborative effort between domestic and international criminal investigators has proved to be effective within other hybrid models. To permit the recruiting of international personnel, revisions to existing public administration regulations including the Establishment Code may be necessary.

4.2.5 Other administrative positions

The efficient management of a hybrid court depends upon an effective administrative unit, charged with the management of the Court.

Appointments of Court staff are at present within the purview of the Ministry of Justice. Incidental amendments would be required to allow for the appointment of international personnel to assist domestic public servants in the complex administrative task of managing the prosecution of international crimes.

Further, it is important that victim and witness support is made available in line with international standards and best practice. In this regard, Sri Lanka could choose one of two options: the expansive Cambodian model where victims are permitted to and resourced to participate as civil parties and seek reparations; or a more limited Sierra Leone/Lebanon model where witnesses and provided protection from reprisals, and are provided support services such as psychosocial counseling and advice.

Part V - Creating an Enabling Environment for a Hybrid Model

As the foregoing analysis demonstrates, Sri Lanka's existing legal structure – while hierarchical and complex – could accommodate a hybrid court with trial and appellate bodies in a manner that is compatible with the Constitution. A comprehensive legislative package on the lines described in Part IV, alongside regulatory changes by executive functionaries, could establish a robust hybrid mechanism to prosecute the most serious crimes committed by all parties over past decades.

However, the success of a hybrid court does not depend solely on the legal institutional arrangements in place. A number of other factors must be considered carefully in approaching the design and implementation of hybrid courts.

First, budgetary implications and responsibility for funding the mechanism must be identified in advance and agreed upon, to ensure that funding constraints do not impede the work of the court. The Cambodian situation, where funding constraints have threatened to derail the work of the ECCC, offers a cautionary example. Any division of funding responsibilities between the international community and the government must be transparent and finalized, with clear commitments by those responsible that the work of the court will be supported unconditionally.

Second, the work of the court must be seen to be impartial, independent and designed to advance justice – not the interests of any one group or community. A clear, well defined and publicly articulated prosecutorial strategy is essential to winning the confidence of the public, ensuring coherent decision making by prosecutors and insulating them from political pressure. The SCSL and the ECCC have clauses that limit the jurisdiction of the court to senior functionaries most responsible for crimes, 134 which in turn have helped shape the prosecutorial strategies in those courts. In Sri Lanka – given the political sensitivities involved – a prosecutorial strategy must contain commitments to prosecuting all sides to the conflict in a manner that reflects the gamut of international crimes committed in Sri Lankan territory. It must also reflect the prosecutor's commitment to addressing gender crimes as well as crimes against children.

Third, the work of the court must be accessible to all citizens of the country. To ensure this, there must be effective communication and outreach efforts that demystify and explain the work and objectives of the court. This must be an all-island effort, to ensure broad public ownership of the project. Proceedings must be translated, and state media should be used to summarize court proceedings in easily digestible packages. This is of particular important given the likely political sensitivity of most of the court's trials.

Fourth, one of the objectives of the court must be to effect knowledge transfers to domestic functionaries and build capacity within Sri Lanka. While this is likely to happen through professional cooperation, training is also of vital importance. Staff, lawyers and judges at all levels must be trained throughout the process; in order to refine problems that may arise, but also build capacity over the long term. Over time, and after the most politically sensitive trials are completed, a gradual 'nationalization' of the court could be contemplated, similar to the process adopted in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Fifth, prosecutions through hybrid and other courts could only be successful if they are part of an integrated Transitional Justice strategy, developed in consultation between the government, victims, leaders of minority communities and civil society. For instance, the role of reparations, truth telling and memorialization in the criminal justice process must be considered. Should victims have a right to claim reparations as parties to trials, or should reparations be considered separately? What is the relationship between trials and past and future truth telling mechanisms? What is the follow-up envisaged after the completion of initial trials? These are important questions for which there are no easy answers, and it is only through patient consultations, negotiation and consensus building that they may be satisfactorily addressed.

Finally, an enabling political environment and culture must be cultivated to support the trials and internalize its lessons. Political leaders on all sides of the ethnic divide have a key role to play in this regard. An attitude of introspective reflection on the past, and a willingness to recognize victimhood in all sections of Sri Lanka's diverse populations, will ultimately be the only effective antidote to the narrow political ethno nationalism that animates the opposition to accountability in Sri Lanka.


1See Swarajya, “ New Sri Lankan Foreign Minist er: Our T ilt T owards China Needs A Course Correct ion” (18 January 2015), available at : http://swarajyamag.com/world/new-sri-lankan-foreign-minister-our-tilt-towardschina- needs-a-course-correction/ [accessed 3 May 2015]. Foreign Minister Samaraweera: “We are currently looking at 2-3 different options and will come up with a proposal in about a month's time. We hope for technical assistance from the UN, perhaps judges from the Commonwealth – whom we chair at the moment –too”. See also Colombo Telegraph, “ Domestic Account abilit y Mechanism Is Now Being Planned: Mangala” (2 May 2015), available at : https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/domestic-accountability-mechanismis- now-being-planned-mangala/ [accessed 3 May 2015]. Foreign Minister Samaraweera: “ […] the architecture of a domestic account ability mechanism with international technical assistance as promised by our manifesto are now being planned.” See further Shihar Annez, “ Sri Lanka's new government plans fresh war crimes probe” (29 January 2015), Reuters, available at : http://www.reuter s.com/article/2015/01/29/us-sri- lanka-rightsidUSKBN0L21GQ20150129 [accessed 3 May 2015]: “ Rajitha Senaratne, a government spokesman, told a forum of foreign correspondents in Colombo, referring to the United Nat ions: It will be a new local inquiry. If we need, we will bring some foreign experts.”


2 Laura A. Dickinson, “ The Promise of Hybrid Courts”, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 97, No.2 (April 2003), p.295


3 Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone on the establishment of a Special Court for Sierra Leone (16 January 2002), available at: http://www.rscsl.org/Documents/scsl-agreement.pdf  [accessed 11 April 2015]


4 Agreement between the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia Concerning the Prosecution Under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea (6 June 2003), available at: http://www.eccc.gov.kh/sites/default/files/legal-documents/Agreement_between_UN_and_RGC.pdf [accessed 11 April 2015]


5 Katerina Uhlířová, “War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Seeding „International Standards of Justice‟?” in Edda Kristjánsdóttir, André Nollkaemper, Cedric Ryngaert (ed.), International Law in Domestic Courts: Rule of Law Reform in Post-conflict States (Cambridge, 2012), p. 207; see also Security Council Resolution 1503 on 28 August 2003 (UN Doc. S/RES/1503), para. 5, available at : http://www.icty.org/x/file/Legal%20Library/Statute/statute_1503_2003_en.pdf [accessed 14 April 2015]


6 The UNTAET was created by Security Council Resolution 1272 on 25 October 1999 (UN Doc. S/RES/1272).


7Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (16 January 2002), article 1(1), available at: http://www.rscsl.org/Documents/scsl-statute.pdf [accessed 11 April 2015] (hereinafter Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone)


8 Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers for the Prosecution of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea (27 October 2004), articles 3-8, available at: http://www.geneva-academy.ch/RULAC/pdf_state/ECCC-Law-as-amended-27-Oct-2004-Eng.pdf [accessed 11 April 2015] (hereinafter Law of the Establishment of the ECCC)


9 Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, attached to Security Council Resolution 1757 (30 May 2007), available at : https://www.stl-tsl.org/en/documents/stl-documents/statute/223-statute-of-the-special-tribunal-for-lebanon [accessed 11 April 2015] (hereinafter Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon)


10 Ibid., article 2(a)


11 Ibid., article 2(b)


12 The similar position was taken by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in ECtHR, Maktouf and Damjanovic v. BiH, (App No. 2312/08 and 34179/08), para. 70. The Court found that the retroactive application of the 2003 BiH Criminal Code violated the European Convention of Human Rights. Because with regard to the cases involving a lower range of punishment, the 2003 Code led to a more severe sentence than that which would have been awarded under the 1976 SFRY Criminal Code.


13  UNTAET Regulation 2000/15 on the establishment of panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences (6 June 2000), section 3, available at: http://www.jornal.gov.tl/lawsTL/UNTAET-Law/Regulations%20English/Reg1999-01.pdf  [accessed 15 April 2015] (hereinafter UNTAET Regulation 2000/15)


14  Suzannah Linton, “Cambodia, East Timor and Sierra Leone: experiments in international justice”, 12 CRIMINAL LAW FORUM (2001), p.205


15 UNTAET Regulation 2000/15, supra note 13, section 3 ; UNTAET Regulation 1999/1 on the authority of the Transitional Administration in East Timor (27 November 1999), section 3, available at: http://www.jornal.gov.tl/lawsTL/UNTAET-Law/Regulations%20English/Reg1999-01.pdf [accessed 15 April 2015]


16 Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, supra note 7, article 12(1)


17 Law on the Establishment of the ECCC, supra note 8, articles 9 and 20


18 Ibid., article 9


19 Ibid., article 14(1)


20 Agreement between the United Nations and the Lebanese Republic on the establishment of a Special Tribunal for Lebanon, annexed to Security Council Resolution 1757 (30 May 2007), article 2(3), available at: http://legal.un.org/avl/ha/abunal/abunal.html [accessed 11 April 2015] (hereinafter Agreement between the United Nations and the Lebanese Republic on the establishment of a Special Tribunal for Lebanon)


21 As in the case of Lebanon, see ibid.


22 This is the case for Sierra Leone and Lebanon: see Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, supra note 7, article 12(1)(a); Agreement between the United Nations and the Lebanese Republic on the establishment of a Special Tribunal for Lebanon, supra note 20, article 2(3).


23 This is the case for Sierra Leone and Lebanon: see Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, supra note 7, article 12(1)(b); Agreement between the United Nations and the Lebanese Republic on the establishment of a Special Tribunal for Lebanon, supra note 20, article 2(3).


24 Bogdan Ivanisevic, “The War Crimes Chamber in Bosnia and Herzegovina: From Hybrid to Domestic Court”, International Center for Transitional Justice (2008), p. 7, available at: http://wcjp.unicri.it/proceedings/docs/ICTJ_BiH%20WCC_2008_eng.PDF [accessed 14 April 2015]


25 “Law on the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina” (23 May  2002), Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina 15/02, article 17


26 B. Ivanisevic, “The War Crimes Chamber in Bosnia and Herzegovina: From Hybrid to Domestic Court”, supra note 24, p. 7


27 “Agreement between the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Registry for Section I for War Crimes and Section II for Organized Crime, Economic Crime and Corruption of the Criminal and Appellate Divisions of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Special Department for War Crimes and the Special Department for Organized Crime, Economic Crime and Corruption of the Prosecutor‟s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina as Well as on the Creation of the Transition Council, Replacing the Registry Agreement of 1 December 2004 and the Annex thereto” Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina – International Agreements 3/07 (26 September 2006), article 8(7), available at: http://www.sudbih.gov.ba/files/docs/zakoni/en/Sporazum_o_Uredu_registrara_-_eng.pdf  [accessed 14 April 2015]


28 Ibid., article 8(6)


29 UNTAET Regulation 2000/15, supra note 13, section 22.1


30 Ibid., section 22.2


31 Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, supra note 7, article 15(3); Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, supra note 9, article 11(3)


32 Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, supra note 9, article 11(4); Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, supra note 7, article 15(4). Although such a requirement was originally included in the Statute of the SCSL, the Government opted for amendment through an exchange of letters, and thus allowed for the appointment of a non-Sierra Leonean as the first Deputy Prosecutor, see Tom Perriello and Marieke Wierda, “Prosecutions Case Studies Series, The Special Court of Sierra Leone Under Scrutiny”, International Center for Transitional Justice (March 2006), p. 2


33 Law on the Establishment of the ECCC, supra note 8, article 16


34 UNTAET Regulation 2000/16 on the Organization of the Public Prosecution Service in East Timor (6 June 2000), available at: http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/etimor/untaetR/Reg0016E.pdf [accessed 14 April 2015] (hereinafter UNTAET Regulation 2000/16)


35 Ibid., section 5.1


36 Ibid., section 4.6


37Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, supra note 7, article 15(2); Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, supra note 9, article 11(5)


38  T. Perriello and M. Wierda, “Prosecutions Case Studies Series, The Special Court of Sierra Leone Under Scrutiny”, supra note 32,  p. 22


39 Investigation Division, Special Tribunal for Lebanon, available at: http://www.stl-tsl.org/en/about-the-stl/structure-of-the-stl/the-office-of-the-prosecutor/investigation- division [accessed 11 April 2015]


40 Law on the Establishment of the ECCC, supra note 8, article 23


41 Human Rights Watch, “Looking for Justice: The War Crimes Chamber in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, February 2006, Volume 18, No. 1(D), pp. 13-14, available at: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/ij0206webwcover.pdf [accessed 15 April 2015]


42  UNTAET Regulation 2000/16, supra note 34, sections 14.3, 14.4 and 14.6


43 Rupert Skilbeck, “Building the Fourth Pillar: Defence Rights at the Special Court for Sierra Leone”, Essex Human Rights Review Vol. 1 No.1 66, p.79


44  T. Perriello and M. Wierda, “Prosecutions Case Studies Series, The Special Court of Sierra Leone Under Scrutiny”, supra note 32, p.25


45 See Defence Support Section (DSS), available at: http://www.eccc.gov.kh/en/dss/defence-support-section-dss [accessed 11 April 2015]


46 See Defence Office, Special Tribunal for Lebanon, available at: https://www.stl- tsl.org/en/about-the-stl/structure-of-the-stl/defence/defence-office-69 [accessed 11 April 2015]


47 Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, supra note 7, article 13


48  Human Rights Watch, “Justice for Atrocity Crimes: Lessons of International Support for Trials Before the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, 12 (2012), p.14, available at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2012/03/12/justice-atrocity-crimes [accessed 15 April 2015]


49 Ibid. See also B. Ivanisevic, “The War Crimes Chamber in Bosnia and Herzegovina: From Hybrid to Domestic Court”, supra note 24, p. 15


50 Suzanne Katzenstein, “Hybrid Tribunals: Searching for Justice in East Timor” (2003) 16 Harv. H.R.J. 245, p. 251; Judicial System Monitoring Program, “Digest of the Jurisprudence of the Special Panels for Special Crimes” (April 2007), p.15, available at: http://www.locjkt.or.id/Timor_E/new/pdf/Digest%20of%20the%20Jurisprudence.pdf [accessed 14 April 2015]


51 William W. Burke-White, “Community of Courts: Toward a System of International Criminal Law Enforcement” (2002) 24 Mich. J. Int‟l. L. 1, p.70


52 S. Katzenstein, “Hybrid Tribunals: Searching for Justice in East Timor”, supra note 50, p.264


53 David Cohen, “ „Justice on the Cheap‟ Revisited: The Failure of the Serious Crimes Trials in East Timor”, East-West Center, No. 80 (May 2006), p. 5, available at: http://www.eastwestcenter.org/fileadmin/stored/pdfs/api080.pdf [accessed 14 April 2015]


54  Ibid.


56 See Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone Witness Protection, available at: http://www.stl-tsl.org/en/about-the-stl/structure-of-the-stl/registry/witness-protection [accessed 15 April 2015]


57 See Court of  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Registry Support to the Court, available at: http://www.sudbih.gov.ba/?opcija=sadrzaj&kat=4&id=8&jezik=e [accessed 15 April 2015]


58 D.Cohen, “ „Justice on the Cheap‟ Revisited: The Failure of the Serious Crimes Trials in East Timor” , supra note 54, p.5


59 The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 1978, article 105(2)


60  Ibid.


61 Judicature Act No 2 of 1978 (as amended), section 2


62  Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), section 14


63 Judicature Act No 2 of 1978 (as amended), section 9; Administration of Justice Law No. 25 of 1975 (as amended), section 20


64 Judicature Act No 2 of 1978 (as amended), section 11; Administration of Justice Law No. 25 of 1975 (as amended), section 20(3)


65 Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), section 203


66 Judicature Act No 2 of 1978 (as amended), sections 14, 15 and 16; Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), sections 331 and 340


67 Ariyakumara v. Karunarathne, SC Spl LA No. 169/2013 (decided on 26 March 2014), available at: http://www.supremecourt.lk/images/documents/sc_spl_la_169_2013.pdf  [accessed 12 April 2015]


68 High Court of the Provinces (Special Provisions) Act No. 19 of 1990 (as amended), section 9; see also, Wickremasekara v. Officer-in-Charge, Police Station Ampara [2004] 1 SriLR 257

69 Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), section 450


70 Ibid., section 114. This provision relates to the offence of waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against the State.


71 Ibid., section 115. This provision relates to the offence of conspiracy to commit offence punishable under section 14 of the Penal Code.


72 Ibid., section 116. This provision relates to the offence of collecting men, arms or ammunition or otherwise prepares with the intention of waging war against the Republic.


73  Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), section 450(2)


74 Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 (as amended), section 15


75  Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), section 451(3)


76  Ibid.


77 See for e.g., Martin vs. Wijewardena, 1989(2)Sri LR 410; Gamhewa vs. Maggie Nona 1982 (2) Sri LR 250


78 The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978), article 128. The Judicature Act No 2 of 1978 (as amended) however mentions in section 37 a „right of appeal to the Supreme Court‟.


79 The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978), article 127


80 Ibid., articles 138(1) and 145; Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), sections 364, 365 and 368


81 The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978), article 154P(3)(b); The High Court of the Provinces (Special Provisions) Act, No. 19 of  1990, section 12 empowers the Court of Appeal to transfer to a Provisional High  Court an application for revision, where the Court of Appeal considers it „expedient to do so‟.


82  Ramalingam v. Parameswary [2000] 2 Sri.L.R. 340, p. 347


83  Rustom v. Hapangama & Co. [1978-79-80] 1 Sri.L.R. 352, pp. 357-358; Sunil Chandra v. Kumara Veloo [2001] 3 Sri.L.R. 91, p. 102


84 U. L. Abdul Majeed, Commentary on Civil Procedure Code and Civil Law in Sri Lanka, Vol. 2 (Colombo, 2013), p.1590


85  Ibid.


86  Ibid.


87 The reason for this being that revision is a discretionary remedy vested in the Court and it is exercised in the absence of an alternative remedy to the applicant – see, Pararagasam & Another v. S.A. Emmanuel, C.A. 931/88, C.A. Minutes 24.7.91 as cited in U. L. Abdul Majeed, Commentary on Civil Procedure Code and Civil Law in Sri Lanka, ibid., p.1606


88L. Abdul Majeed, Commentary on Civil Procedure Code and Civil Law in Sri Lanka, supra note 83, pp. 1599-1605; see also, Jonita v. Abeysekera, Sri Skantha‟s Law Reports Vol. IV, p.22; Rustom v. Hapangama &Co., [1978-79-80] 1 Sri.L.R. 352, p. 358; Silva v. Silva (1943) 44 N.L.R. 494, p. 496; Dharmaratne and Another v. Palm Paradise Cabanas Ltd. and Others, [2003] 3 Sri.L.R. 24, pp. 29-30


89 Martin v. Wijewardena [1989] 2 Sri.L.R. 409, p. 419; Gamhewa v. Maggie Nona [1989] 2 Sri.L.R. 250, p.252; Dassanayake v. Sampath Bank Ltd. [2002] 3 Sri.L.R. 268, p. 270


90 L. Abdul Majeed, Commentary on Civil Procedure Code and Civil Law in Sri Lanka, supra note 84, p.1590


91 Sunil A. F. Cooray, Principles of Administrative Law in Sri Lanka Vol. 2 (3rd edn.), p.1271


92 Ibid., pp. 1271 and 1311; see also The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978), article 128(1); Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), sections 331 and 340; High Court of the Provinces (Special Provisions) Act No. 19 of 1990 (as amended), section 9


93 The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978), article 128(2) 94 Ibid., proviso to article 128(2)


95 Ibid., article 41C read with article 107. These and other provisions that were introduced by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution are technically, at the time of printing, not law since the 19th Amendment Bill has not yet been signed into law by the Speaker. He is expected to do so shortly. The 19th Amendment has, however, been passed by Parliament and is awaiting formal acknowledgement by the Speaker.


96 Such recommendation shall be made after consultation with the Attorney-General.


97 The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978), article 111(2)(a)


98 Ibid., article 111A(1)


99 Ibid., article 111A(3)


100  Ibid., article 111H(b) read with article 111M(a)


101 Ibid., article 111H(b) read with article 111D(1)


102 Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), sections 193 and 400


103  Judicature Act No 2 of 1978 (as amended), section 40(1)


104 Ibid., section 41(1)


105 The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978), article 13 (3); Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), section 260; Judicature Act No 2 of 1978 (as amended), section 41(1)


106  Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), section 110


107 Ibid., section 117


108 Ibid., section 123


109 Ibid., section 124


110 Ibid., section 125


111 In respect of the Court of Appeal, see supra note 77. In respect of the Supreme Court, see The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978), article 127, 128. Note that a right to appeal to the Supreme Court only arises in  respect of appeals from final orders from the Court of Appeal involving a substantial question of law; or any order including interlocutory orders from the Court of Appeal where the Court of Appeal has granted leave to appeal, or where the Supreme Court is of the opinion that the matter is fit for review.


112 See supra note 87


113 A similar provision exists with regard to an appeal from any judgment, sentence or order pronounced by a Trial at Bar: see Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), section 451(3).


114 The concept of indirect perpetration refers to the use of another person to physically carry out the crime, while controlling the will of the perpetrator.


115  Joint criminal enterprise: several individuals who contribute to criminal activity, with a common purpose that such act is carried out jointly or by some members.


116 Co-perpetration: being directly involved in the commission of the crime, without necessarily being a principal actor.


117 Superior/command responsibility: failure by a superior to prevent or punish the commission of a crime carried out by a subordinate.


118 The Conventions Act, No 4 of 2006 criminalizes grave breaches of the four Geneva Conventions, but does not go further. As a result, many war crimes committed in non-international armed conflicts – like the armed conflict between the LTTE and Sri Lankan armed forces – are not included within the scope of the Act.


119 See Niran Anketell, “Building Credible Domestic Mechanisms for Accountability and Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka: Prosecutions and Criminal Justice”, Daily FT (23 January 2015), available at: http://www.ft.lk/2015/01/23/building-credible- mechanisms-for-domestic-accountability-and-transitional-justice-prosecutions-and- criminal-justice/ [accessed 15 April 2015]


120  The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 1978, article 13(6); ICCPR, article 15(1)


121 The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 1978, proviso to article 13(6); the terminology used by this proviso is borrowed from the identical formulation in the ICCPR, article 15(2).


122Ekanayake vs. Attorney General 1987 (1) Sri LR 107


123Ekanayake vs. Attorney General 1988 (1) Sri LR 46


124 The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978), article 111(2)(a)


125 Ibid., article 111H(2)(a)


126 Ibid., article 111A(1)


127 Ibid., article 111A(3)


128 Ibid., article 111H(b)


129 1994 Commission of Inquiry into the Involuntary Removal or Disappearance of Persons in the Western, Southern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces, Sessional Paper No. V-1997


130  Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), sections 193 and 400


131 Judicature Act No. 2 of 1978 (as amended), section 40


132 Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (as amended), section 108


133 Ibid.,  section 125


134 Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, supra note 7, article 1; Law on the Establishment of the ECCC,  supra note 8, article 1

Published in Reports

ராஜபக்‌ஷ ஆட்சியின் வீழ்ச்சியானது பல புதிய ஆரம்பங்களுக்கு நம்பிக்கைச் சமிக்ஞை காட்டியுள்ளது. இந்த நம்பிக்கைகளுள் ஒன்றுதான் போர்க் காலகட்டத்தில், குறிப்பாக யுத்தத்தின் இறுதி மாதங்களிலே முன்னெப்போதுமிருந்திராத அளவிலான காட்டுமிராண்டித்தனத்தின்போது மனித உரிமைகள் மற்றும் யுத்தவிதிகளின் மீறுதல்கள் பற்றி இப்போதாவது நாடு நம்பத்தகுந்த அளவுக்கு உள்நாட்டிலே கவனத்திற்கொள்ளும் என்பது. ஜனாதிபதி சிறிசேனாவின் தேர்தல் பரப்புரையின்போது அவரும் அவரது கட்சியினரும் சர்வதேச பொறுப்புக்கூறலுக்கான மாற்றீடாக உள்ளூர் பொறிமுறை பற்றி பேசி வந்திருந்தாலுங்கூட, அத்தகைய பொறிமுறையின் தன்மை, அதன் இலக்கு போன்றவற்றைப் பற்றி வாய் திறக்கவேயில்லை. தமிழர்களுக்குத் தகுந்த ஈடாக எதையுமே வழங்காமல் சர்வதேச அழுத்தத்தை அரசு தவிர்த்துக்கொள்ள முயற்சிப்பதாகப் பல தமிழர்கள் அச்சம் கொண்டிருந்தனர். நல்லிணக்க ஆணைக்குழுவின் மன்னிப்புக்கேட்டல் மற்றும் மன்னித்தல் ஆகியவற்றை நோக்கியதான அணுகுமுறையின் ஏற்புடைத் தன்மைபற்றி முன்னாள் எதிர்க்கட்சித் தலைவரும் தற்போதைய பிரதமருமான ரணில் விக்கிரமசிங்க சுருக்கமாகத் தெரிவித்தபோது அவர் தென்னாபிரிக்க மாதிரியை மேற்கோள்காட்டுவது போலத் தென்பட்டார். ஆனால், புதிய நிர்வாகத்திலே செல்வாக்குமிக்க செயற்பாட்டாளர்களான ராஜித சேனாரத்ன மற்றும் மங்கள சமரவீர போன்றவர்கள் விடுத்த தொடர் அறிவிப்புக்கள் புதிய அரசில் ஒரு சிலராவது உள்ளூர் போர்க்குற்ற வழக்குத் தாக்கல் செய்ய கணிசனமான ஆதரவைச் சுட்டிக்காடுவது போலத் தென்படுகிறது.

எனவே, நீதிபற்றிக் கரிசினை கொண்டுள்ள செயற்பாட்டாளர்களுக்கு உள்ள சவால் எதுவெனில், இந்தத் துறையிலே புதிய அரசுடன் எவ்வகையில் திறம்பட இடைப்படவேணடும் என்பதாகும். புதிய நிர்வாகத்துக்கு இடைவெளியையும் ஆதரவையும் வழங்குவது பற்றி ஒருவித விருப்பம் இருந்தாலுங்கூட, அரசு தான் கூறும் உறுதிமொழிகளின் நிறைவேற்ற முன்னேற்றத்தை மதிப்பாய்வதற்கான நிபந்தனைகளை இனங்காண்பதற்கான தேவை அதைவிட முக்கியமானதாக உள்ளது. உள்ளூர் செயன்முறைகளை நடாத்துவதற்கு இலங்கை அரசுக்குக் காலக்கிரமமும் இடைவெளியும் வழங்கவேண்டுமேயாயின் வலியுறுத்தப்பட வேண்டிய நிபந்தனைகள் எவை என்பதை இந்தக் கட்டுரையிலே வகுத்திருக்கிறேன்.

சட்டவரம்பு மற்றும் நிறுவனக் கட்டமைப்பு

இலங்கையின் குற்றவியல் சட்டக்கோவையானது மனுக்குலத்துக்கு எதிரான குற்றச்செயல்கள் மற்றும் யுத்தக் குற்றச்செயல்கள் ஆகியவற்றுக்கு வழக்குத்தாக்கல் செய்வதற்குப் பொருத்தமற்றது.

விசாரணைகளூடாகக் கடந்த காலத்தைக் கையாள்வதற்கான நடைமுறையிலே இறங்குவதற்கு இலங்கை மூன்று சர்வதேச சட்டவரைபுகளை இனங்கண்டு அவற்றைச் செயற்படுத்தவேண்டும்: அவையாவன, யுத்தக் குற்றச்செயல்கள், மனுக்குலத்துக்கு எதிரான குற்றச் செயல்கள் மற்றும் இன அழிப்பு. தற்போது இத்தகைய சர்வதேச குற்றச்செயல்கள் அடிப்படையான உள்ளூர் குற்றங்களான கொலை, கற்பழிப்பு, காயப்படுத்துதல் போன்றவற்றினால் மாத்திரமே நீதிமன்றத்துக்கு ஆஜர்படுத்தப்பட முடியும். இந்த உள்ளூர் குற்றச்செயல்கள் திட்டமிட்டுச் செயற்படுத்தப்படும் சர்வதேசக் குற்றச்செயல்களின் மட்டத்தையும் பாரதூரத் தன்மையையும் பிரதிபலிக்கமாட்டாது. உலகெங்கிலும் உள்ள நூற்றுக்கணக்கான நாடுகளிலே தேசிய நாடாளுமன்றங்கள் சர்வதேச குற்றவியற் சட்டங்களை நடைமுறைப்படுத்தியுள்ளன. தனது உள்ளூர் நடைமுறைகள் நீதியை அடைந்தெய்திடப் போதுமானதெனக் கோரமுன்பதாக இலங்கையும் அதேபோலவே சர்வதேசக் குற்றவியல் சட்டங்களை நடைமுறைப்படுத்திட வேண்டும்.

நீதியைப் பரிபாலிப்பதற்கான இலங்கையின் நிறுவனக் கட்டமைப்பும் சர்வதேசக் குற்றச்செயல்களைக் கையாள்வதற்கான பொருத்தப்பாட்டிலே குன்றிய நிலைமையே காணப்படுகிறது. இந்தக் குற்றச்செயல்களை வழக்குத்தொடுப்பதற்கு சர்வதேச சட்டத்தைக் கைக்கொள்வதிலே பயிற்சிபெற்ற சட்டத்தரணிகள், அவ்வாறே பயிற்றப்பட்ட நீதிமன்றப் பணியாளர்கள், ஆயிரக்கணக்கான ஆவணங்களை முறைப்படுத்துவதற்கு இயலுமாயுள்ள நிர்வாகத்தொகுதி ஆகியவை தேவை. இந்த முன்தேவைகள் ஒருபுறம் இருக்க, இலங்கையின் நீதிமன்றத் தொகுதியிலே நீடித்துநிலைநிற்கும் குன்றிப்போன வினைத்திறனின் பின்புலத்திலே, சிக்கலான குற்றச்செயல்களுக்கான வழக்குகள் இந்தக் குற்றச்செயல்களை விசாரிக்கவென நிறுவப்படும் விசேட மன்றத்தாலேயே கூடும். மேலும், ஒரு விசேட அல்லது சுயாதீன குற்றத்தாக்கல் அலகு அல்லது அலுவலகம் நிறுவப்படவேண்டும் – ஆரம்ப கட்டத்திலே சர்வதேச குற்றச்செயல்கள் வழக்குத் தாக்கல்களிலே முன் அனுபவம் கொண்ட சட்டமா அதிகாரியின் திணைக்களத்துச் சட்டத்தரணிகள் பணிக்கமர்த்தப்படலாம். ஆயினும், ஈற்றிலே வெளிப்படையான பணிக்கமர்த்தல் நடைமுறைகள் இருக்கவேண்டும். அதேபோல, தனித்த ஒரு திணைக்களமாகவோ அல்லது பொலிஸ் திணைக்களத்தினுள் ஒரு அலகாகவோ விசேட விசாரணை அலகொன்றும் நிலைநாட்டப்படவேண்டும்.

வழக்குத்தொடுத்தல் கொள்கை

கடந்த காலத்திலே இடம்பெற்ற கொடூரக் குற்றச்செயல்களை வழக்குத்தொடுப்பதிலே இலங்கையின் வரையறுக்கப்பட்ட முயற்சிகள் பெரும்பாலும் திடனுள்ளதாக இல்லை. ஏனெனில், வழக்குத் தொடுப்புக்கள் அந்தக் குற்றச்செயல்களுக்குப் பெரும் பொறுப்பை ஏற்கும் சிரேஷ்ட தலைவர்களை விட்டுவிட்டு கீழ்மட்டத்து அலுவலர்களுக்கு எதிராகத் தொடுப்பதிலேயே நோக்கக்குவியம் கொண்டிருந்துள்ளது. சிரேஷ்ட மட்டத்துப் படை அதிகாரிகள் பல நூற்றுக்கணக்கான கொலைகள், கற்பழிப்புக்கள் மற்றும் காணாமற்போதல்கள் ஆகிவற்றுக்குப் பொறுப்பானவர்களாக இருந்திருக்க, கிரிஷாந்தி குமாரசாமியின் கற்பழிப்பு மற்றும் கொலை வழக்கு விசாரிப்பிலே அடிமட்டத்து அலுவலரான கோப்ரல் ராஜபக்‌ஷவுக்கு எதிராக மட்டும் வழக்கு தாக்கல் செய்யப்பட்டமை இப்படியான போக்குக்கு ஒரு உதாரணமாகும். உயர்மட்டத்து அலுவலர்களின் தண்டனையின்மையை வலியுறுத்திக்காட்டுவதாய் இருக்கும் இந்த நிஜநிலைமை கவனத்திற் கொள்ளப்படவேண்டும். எனவே சட்டமா அதிபர், சர்வதேச நிபுணர்கள், மனித உரிமைகளுக்கான ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் உயர் ஸ்தானிகராயல அலுவலகம், குடிசார் சமூகக் குழுக்கள் மற்றும் பாதிக்கப்பட்டோர் ஆகியோருடன் கலந்துரையாடி ஒரு வழக்குத் தொடுப்புக் கொள்கை ஒன்றை அரசு வகுத்திடவேண்டியது அத்தியாவசியமானதாகும். அத்தகைய வழக்குத் தொடுப்புக் கொள்கையானது குற்றச் செயல்களுக்கு மிகவும் பொறுப்பாக உள்ள சிரேஷ்ட தலைவர்களை வழக்குத் தொடுக்கும் அர்ப்பணத்தை உள்ளடக்கியதாய் இருக்க வேண்டும்; ஆயுத மோதலின் இருதரப்பாரையும் வழக்குத் தொடுக்கும் அர்ப்பணம்; அத்துடன் கண்காணிப்பின்கீழ் குற்றச் செயல்களை ஈடுபடுத்தும் பிரதிநிதிகளின் குற்றச்செயல்களை வழக்குத் தொடுக்கும் அர்ப்பணம் ஆகியவையும் உள்ளடங்க வேண்டும். வழக்குத் தொடுக்கும் உபாயத்திட்டத்தை வரையறுக்கும் ஒரு இணக்கப்பாட்டு ஆவணமானது எழுந்தமானமான மற்றும் அரசியல் நோக்கங்களால் உந்தப்பெற்ற வழக்குத் தொடுப்புத் தெரிவுகளை மேற்கொள்வதைத் தவிர்ப்பதிலே அர்ப்பணத்தை அடையாளப்படுத்தி, அரசியல் அழுத்தங்களுக்கு அடிபணியாத வழக்குத் தொடுப்பினைக் காப்பாற்ற உதவிசெய்து, சர்வதேச ஆதரவையும், உதவியையும், இயல்பூட்டத்தையும் ஊக்குவித்திடும்.

இலங்கை அரசு சர்வதேச விசாரணையை ஆதரிக்காவிட்டாலுங்கூட, அவர்களின் தொழில்நுட்ப ஆதரவைப் பெறுவதற்கும், அதன் உள்ளூர் விசாரணையிலே பங்கேற்கும்படிக்கு வெளிநாட்டு நீதியரசர்களை உள்ளடக்குவதற்கும் திறந்தமனம் கொண்டுள்ளது என்பதை வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சர் மங்கள சமரவீர ஏற்கெனவே தெரிவித்துள்ளார். அவரது கருத்துகள் அரசின் கொள்கையைப் பிரதிபலிப்பதாக இருக்குமேயாயின், அது மிகவும் முக்கியமான ஒன்று. ஏனெனில், உலகெங்கிலும் அண்மைக் காலங்களிலே இடம்பெற்ற உள்ளூர் விசாரணைகளிலே சர்வதேசத்தினரின் ஈடுபாடானது அதன் நம்பகத் தன்மை, வினைத்திறன் மற்றும் தராதரம் ஆகியவற்றை உயர்த்திட உதவியுள்ளது. இத்தகைய சர்வதேச உதவிகள் காணாமற்போனோர் பற்றிய ஜனாதிபதி ஆணைக்குழுவின் சர்வதேச ஆலோசகர்களின் வகிபங்குடன் ஒப்பிடுகையில் அடிப்படையான வேறுபாட்டைக் கொண்டிருக்கும். சர்வதேச அலகைகொண்ட நீதிமன்றங்கள் அண்மைய காலங்களிலே கம்போடியா, சியேறா லியோன், கிழக்கு தீமோர் மற்றும் பொஸ்னியா ஆகிய நாடுகளிலே அமைக்கப்பட்டிருப்பதானது பல்வேறு வகைப்பட்ட மாதிரிகளை வழங்குவதால், அதிலிருந்து இலங்கை தனக்கான தெரிவை மேற்கொள்ள இடமுண்டு. இறுதியாக, சர்வதேச அவதானிப்புக்கள் – அரசுகள் மற்றும் அரச சார்பற்ற நிறுவனங்களால் அவதானிப்புகள் செயன்முறையின் நேர்மைத்தன்மையைப் பரிசீலித்திட உதவும்.

பாதிப்புற்றோர் மற்றும் சிவில் சமூகத்தின் ஈடுபாடு

விசாரணை மற்றும் தீர்ப்புச் செயன்முறைகளிலே பாதிப்புற்றோரின் ஈடுபாடானது நெருக்கத்தையும் நல்லிணக்கத்தையும் ஏற்படுத்துவதிலே மிக முக்கிய பங்கை வகிக்கும் என்பது திண்ணம். இலங்கையிலே ஏலவே உள்ள சட்டத்தொகுதியானது இவ்வகையிலே மிகவும் குறைபாடுள்ளது. சீர்திருத்தத்தைப் பொறுத்தவரைக்கும் நல்லதொரு ஆரம்பம் எதுவெனில், பாதிப்புற்றோர் மற்றும் சாட்சிகள் சட்டமொன்றை வரைந்து அதை அமுல்படுத்துதல் ஆகும். ஆயினும், பாதிப்புற்றோரை செயன்முறைகளிலே ஈடுபடும் பயணப் பங்காளிகளாக உண்மையிலேயே இணைத்துக்கொள்வதற்கு வெறும் பாதுகாப்புக்கான உத்தரவாதத்தை விடவும் அதிகமானதை அவர்களுக்கு வழங்கவேண்டும். குறிப்பாக இரண்டு தெரிவுகள் கருத்திற் கொள்ளப்படல் வேண்டும்: முதலாவது – பாதிப்புற்றோருக்காக ஆஜராகும் சட்டத்தரணிகள் சாட்சிகளை முற்படுத்திட, சாட்சிகளைக் குறுக்குவிசாரணை செய்ய மற்றும் சட்டம் மற்றும் நடைமுறை ஆகிய விடயங்களிலே மன்றத்திலே பேச உரிமை வழங்குவதன்மூலம் அவர்கள் விசாரணைகளிலே நேரடியாகப் பங்குபற்றச் செய்யவேண்டும், இரண்டாவதாக – பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்கள் குற்றச்செயல் விசாரணை முறைமையூடாக குற்றவாளிகளுக்கு எதிராக இழப்பீடு கோருவதற்கு அனுமதிக்கப்படல் வேண்டும்.

விசாரணை முறையமையன்று நம்பகத்தன்மை கொண்டதாய் இருப்பதற்கு, விசாரணைகளிலே சிவில் சமூகம் பிரதானமான வகிபங்கை வகிக்கவேண்டும். குடிசார் சமூகக் குழுக்களும் வலையமைப்பும் எண்பிக்கும் சான்றுகளை சேகரித்துத் திரட்ட வேண்டும்; சட்டங்கள் மற்றும் நிறுவனக் கட்டமைப்புக்களின் அமுலாக்கம் மற்றும் வடிவமைப்பு ஆகியவற்றிலே அவர்கள் உள்ளீடுகளை வழங்கவேண்டும்; விசாரிப்பு மற்றும் வழக்குத் தொடுப்பு அதிகாரிகளுடன் இடைப்படும்படியாக பாதிப்புற்றோர்களையும் சாட்சிகளையும் அணிதிரட்டவேண்டும்; பாதிப்புற்றோர் சமூகங்களுக்குச் சட்டத்தொகுதியின் எண்ணப்போக்குகளை விளக்க வேண்டும்; அத்துடன், விசாரணை நடைமுறை மற்றும் நீதிமன்றத்தீர்ப்பு ஆகியவற்றின் முன்னேற்றங்களைக் கண்காணிக்க வேண்டும். பல்தரப்பட்டதும் சவாலுள்ளதுமான வகிபங்குகளை வகிப்பதற்கு உள்ளூர் சிவில் சமூகத்தை ஆயத்தப்படுத்தும் முன்னேற்பாடாக அதுபற்றிய பயிற்சிகளும் இயல்பூட்ட நிகழ்ச்சிகளும் இன்றியமையாததாகும். இந்தப் பயிற்சியானது பிரதானமாக சர்வதேச குற்றவியல் சட்டம் மற்றும் நிலைமாற்றக்கட்டத்து நீதி ஆகியவற்றிலே, குறிப்பாக சான்று சேகரித்தல், கண்காணித்தல் மற்றும் விசாரணைத் தீர்ப்புக்காகப் பரிந்துபேசும் திறமைகள் போன்றவற்றிலே நோக்கக்குவியம் கொண்டதாயும் இருக்கவேண்டும்.


இலங்கையின் புதிய அரசானது உள்ளூர் விசாரணை முறை பற்றிய ஒரு தரிசனத்தை விதைந்துரைத்தமையானது தேர்தல் பரப்புரைகளிலே கூறியவைகளிலே விட குறிப்பிடத்தக்க முன்னேற்றமாக உள்ளது. ஆயினுங்கூட, பொறுப்புக்கூறல் பற்றிய விடயத்தை நம்பகத்தன்மையான முறையிலே கவனத்திற் கொள்வதிலே இலங்கை தொடர்ந்து காட்டிவந்த விரும்பமின்மையும் அதன் இயல்பீனமும் சரிப்படுத்த பாதிக்கப்பட்டோர் தமக்கான நீதிக்கெனக் கோரும் கோரிக்கைகளைக் கவனத்திற் கொள்வதிலே புலப்படத்தக்க அர்ப்பணங்களையும் முன்னேற்றத்தையும் இலங்கை அரசு காண்பிக்கவேண்டும். இலங்கை அரசானது சர்வதேச நீதியை தூரப்படுத்திடும் உரிமையைச் சம்பாதித்துக்கொள்ள வேண்டுமேயானால் பாதிப்புற்றோருக்கான நீதியை உள்வீட்டிலேயே வழங்கிட விருப்பமும் இயல்பும் தனக்கு இருப்பதை அது நிரூபிக்க வேண்டும்.

நிறான் அங்கிற்றல்

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