TNA slams Samarasinghe’s UN statement

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 September 2011, 00:02 GMT]
Leader of the Tamil National Alliance, R Sampanthan, in a press release issued to the media today, took exception to Head of Sri Lanka delegation to the UN and Minister in Rajapakse government, Mahinda Samarasinghe’s statement which said that his “government’s approach to reconciliation has been predicated on building trust and amity between communities." TNA retorted that the experience of the Tamil people does not support this claim and that “Tamil people of the North and East continue to be subjected to violence even after the end of the war.”

The TNA said, the “flawed” Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission [LLRC] with a limited mandate made only modest recommendations, including asking the Government to publish the names of those in detention.

Noting that Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe had claimed that the recommended measures have been taken to implement these recommendations ‘without delay,’ the TNA said, the truth is different.

"The government, however, has been engaged in a constant flow of misinformation to the international community; the Minister for External Affairs informed the Heads of Missions in Sri Lanka in January 2011 that a database containing the list of Tamil detainees was active and available for perusal by the next of kin....However, not only was this information untrue, but even after several subsequent promises to make available the list of detainees, it has not been implemented to date," Sampanthan said.

The TNA also cautioned the international community on uncriticallly accepting termination of the state of emergency as evidence of normalcy being restored in post-war Sri Lanka. "We have consistently maintained that the termination of the state of emergency needed to be accompanied by the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act [PTA] if Sri Lanka is to ensure a transition towards genuine democratic and constitutional rule," the statement from TNA said.

TNA statement drew attention to the preamble to the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law adopted by UN G.A Resolution 60/147.

"This instrument recognizes that, ‘in honouring the victims’ right to benefit from remedies and reparation, the international community keeps faith with the plight of victims, survivors and future human generations and reaffirms the international legal principles of accountability, justice and the rule of law.’ It is in light of such international norms that the government is inexorably obligated to genuinely address the grievances of the victims of international humanitarian and human rights law violations in Sri Lanka," Mr Sampanthan said in TNA's statement.

 

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