Foreign judges politically unacceptable, unconstitutional - MR | Daily News

Foreign judges politically unacceptable, unconstitutional - MR

The appointment of foreign experts as judges exercising judicial power in respect of the Sri Lankan armed forces and citizens was at no time contemplated by my government because it was politically unacceptable and also against the basic provisions of the Constitution, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

Rajapaksa said so when Motoo Noguchi of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office of Japan called on him at his residence yesterday.The former President cordially welcomed Noguchi and referred to the warm and mutually supportive relationship between Sri Lanka and Japan and in particular the strong support which the government of Japan had extended to his government, especially with regard to the economy and trade relations.

Rajapaksa and Noguchi discussed a range of issues connected with current initiatives regarding reconciliation and the way forward. Noguchi described his experience in the war crimes tribunal of Cambodia and the manner in which it was functioning.

Former President Rajapaksa, while appreciating his insights, pointed out the fundamental difference between the Sri Lankan and Cambodian contexts, and referred to the salient features of the Sri Lankan situation, the basic element of which was the eradication of terrorism and the availability of the opportunity today for all citizens of Sri Lanka irrespective of ethnic identity, to live in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. He described in some detail the challenges which confronted the former government and the strategies which he put in place to overcome them.

Noguchi expressed appreciation of the invitation extended to him by the government of former President Rajapaksa to serve in an advisory capacity to assist the Commission on Missing Persons headed by Maxwell Paranagama.

The former President specifically clarified that the intention of his government, in response to a written request by Chairman Paranagama was to secure for the benefit of the Sri Lankan commission the expertise of several international experts including Noguchi.

He emphasised that the role of these experts was to serve as resource persons in dealing with complex issues of international humanitarian law and international human rights law which arose in the course of the work of the commission.

Noguchi agreed that the best course of action was to have judicial mechanisms manned by Sri Lanka’s own nationals.

Rajapaksa and Noguchi also discussed other issues of mutual interest during their discussion. Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris was also present at the meeting. 

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