Politics & Current Affairs

'Hope UN will not let Tamils down this time': TNA

Claiming that the UN-led investigation into alleged war crime in Sri Lanka has got nothing to do with the change of political leadership in the country, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said it would not tolerate any move to postpone the submission of the report of the UN-led war crime probe on Sri Lanka at the 28th UNHRC session in March in Geneva.

Amidst frantic moves to postpone the report, TNA's Wanni district parliamentarian, Selvam Adaikalanathan said “the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has already completed its investigation as per its mandate after extensively gathering credible information and interviewing witnesses under difficult circumstances".

"Our people voted for a political change for the benefit of the entire country. The UN-led investigation has got nothing to do with the change of political leadership in the country. It is all about establishing the truth and accountability. We hope our war-ravaged people will not be let down this time," MP Adaikalanathan said.

Postpone till September

Local reports confirmed that Ranil Wickremesinghe was planning to submit a comprehensive cabinet paper on how the government should defy allegations against Sri Lanka in the OHCHR report, to be presented for the UNHRC at its 28th session in Geneva in March.

The reports also said the Prime Minister was also to consult Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who is currently in Brussels meeting European Union top officials. President's senior advisor on international affairs and former UN diplomat Dr. Jayantha Danapala is also expected to arrive in Brussels this week for talks with high-level delegations as part of this concerted effort.

No trust on domestic mechanism

The new Sri Lankan government is all out to postpone this at least till September, citing the fresh political situation in the country. Discussions are already with the concerned parties to advocate their move.

Stating that international justice cannot be established by trial and error, the TNA MP said that "we are not prepared to trust any domestic investigations for atrocities committed. The idea of giving time and space will only be a time-buying exercise that will ultimately deny the already delayed justice for the victims".

In an interview with the London-based Colombo Mirror news website, Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the Executive Director of Centre for Policy Alternative (CPA), a well-reputed independent think tank in Colombo, has commented the possibility of a postponement of the report.

"What may be possible is a deferment of the report till after the general election in Sri Lanka – say to June or September 2015- because the international community feels that the new government should be given the opportunity to complete the 100 days programme and design the domestic mechanism it has spoken about re accountability," he has stated in the interview on Tuesday.

"Should there be a deferment it should be on the condition that a number of actions be taken in the meantime regarding detainees and well documented cases of egregious violations to name two. Furthermore, I would strongly urge that any domestic mechanism is underpinned by international technical assistance and that the UNHRC continues to keep a close watch on human rights protection in Sri Lanka," Dr. Saravanamuttu has said, adding that the findings of the Commission "must not be diluted on account of the changed political situation in Sri Lanka".

© JDS