The International Law Commission (ILC) has rejected Sri Lanka’s nomination Mohan Peiris following a campaign calling on the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to reject his nomination.
“Reject Mohan Peiris”
—iDEFEND (@iDEFENDhr) November 11, 2021
The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has asked the UNGA to refuse the nomination of Mohan Peiris to the ILC.
In an online event this week, Yasmin Sooka, Executive Director of the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), Yasmin Sooka, criticized Sri Lanka’s nomination of Mohan Peiris to the commission ahead of elections that took place. place yesterday.
Mohan Peiris, the current Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York, served as Attorney General from 2008 to 2011. He was also the principal legal adviser to then President Mahinda Rajapaksa and all government departments and ministries, including state security forces and the police.
In the final stage of the armed conflict, Sri Lanka launched a massive military offensive which saw the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, repeated bombings of hospitals, widespread sexual violence, torture and the execution of Tamils who were surrendering.
“As such, he [Peiris] had the authority and responsibility to direct and advise police investigations and also to properly prepare cases for indictment and prosecution,” Ms. Sooka stressed.
“And as Attorney General, he was expected to independently and credibly investigate the multiple allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity that were reported at the time,” he said. she added.
“I would say that the commission should refuse to accept a nomination from Sri Lanka because it has reneged on its own obligations under national and international law to face responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity that have been perpetrated at the end of the war in 2009, as well as of course the ongoing violations,” Ms Sooka said.
After the end of the armed conflict, the Sri Lankan government set up a “rehabilitation” program for former cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Ms Sooka noted that at the time, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) criticized Peiris for “failing to address legal flaws in the government’s rehabilitation program for thousands of war veterans” and said that it “operated in a legal vacuum”.
In a press release issued earlier this year, the ITJP and Journalists for Democracy Sri Lanka (JDS) noted that the ICJ had raised serious human rights concerns regarding the government’s legal framework. for the “rehabilitation” centers written by Peiris.
The concerns relate to “the compulsory and involuntary nature of the rehabilitation, which involved the deprivation of liberty of the “rehabilitated” and which, according to the ICJ, would amount to individual and collective punishment without criminal conviction; denial of the right to challenge detention and rehabilitation; and the maximum two-year detention without charge, trial or access to legal representation.”
“When we appoint someone from a state that fails to meet its own national and international obligations, does that not mock such an esteemed body and reward Sri Lanka, which in self would be a problem,” she asked. .
See a full press release by ITJP and JDS here.