Palitha Kohona deserves prosecution by Australia: Professor of Law

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 December 2009, 12:10 GMT]
In light of accusations laid out by a US State Department report to Congress on possible war crimes carried out by the Sri Lankan armed forces, diplomatic immunity should be wavered and investigations carried out on the role played by Australian dual citizen and former Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona in the execution of LTTE Political heads B. Nadesan and the Director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat S. Puleedevan, says Don Rothwell, professor of international law at the Australian National University.

Dr. Palitha T. B. Kohona
Palitha Kohona
Professor Rothwell highlighted growing concern in international courts over immunity enjoyed by diplomats, and told ABC News that enough material existed for initial investigations to begin, a responsibility held by the Australian Government.

"Dr Kohona is a dual Australian-Sri Lankan citizen. The fact that he is an Australian citizen automatically activates obligations for Australia to investigate this matter at the legal level, but the fact that he was a former high-profile official for the Australian Government representing Australia in international negotiations, I think perhaps places an even stronger responsibility on Australia to at least conduct the initial investigations into this matter," he told the ABC.

Don Rothwell, Professor of Law at the National University of Australia
Citing the principle of “command authority”, which holds that a person in a position of power who is aware of war crimes being committed can be held liable, Rothwell made the remarks in response to allegations made by the U.S report that Kohona was involved in orchestrating the killing of the two LTTE political figures after they had negotiated to surrender.

The report stated that: "the leaders, Nadesan and Puleedevan, spoke to international and domestic figures, who acted as intermediaries with the then foreign secretary, Dr Palitha Kohona, to negotiate surrender. Nadesan requested a UN witness but was told he had the Sri Lankan President's guarantee of safety".

Kohona responded to the report by labelling the claims “ silly accusations based on innuendo and unsubstantiated facts”, before reiterating comments made earlier this year that only countries that loose wars are tried for war crimes.


Related Articles:
21.08.09   Winners are never tried for war crimes, says Colombo’s forei..
03.07.09   Kohona: ‘Victorious soldiers could have raped every single w..
19.05.09   War crime in the massacre of LTTE officials

 

Latest 15 Reports
02.07.20 22:26  
Colombo imposes restrictions on Tamil valour related symbolism in schools of North
01.07.20 13:22  
New secret unit among four SL military and police squads competing to arrest Tamil youth in North
30.06.20 22:10  
Tamils blocked from accessing properties near SL Navy training base in Champoor, Trincomalee
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
27.06.20 22:11  
Indo-Pacific expert wants US to seek opportunities in ‘Sri Lanka’
26.06.20 21:24  
Russia steps up influence on New Delhi to uphold “multilateralism” against US “rules-based order”
25.06.20 23:53  
Pompeo talks about US reposturing troops, mentions India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia
24.06.20 23:36   Photo
Devananda circumvents court order, manipulates Jaffna fishers to allow poachers from South
23.06.20 22:03  
Sinhala encroachment of pastureland continues unabated in Batticaloa
22.06.20 18:17  
SLMC Chairman: Time for joint Tamil-Muslim efforts
21.06.20 23:11   Photo
Ex-councillor: Poverty-stricken Tamils at receiving end of SL military brutality in North
20.06.20 23:53   Photo
Tamil man killed, Sinhala Army opens fire at motorbike rider at Mukamaalai in North
19.06.20 23:30  
Dr Amir Ali: SL Archaeology aims to obliterate Tamil traces, shrink territory of Muslims in East
18.06.20 21:02  
Colombo steps up surveillance harassment on organisations operating in East
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=30753