TNA welcomes Pillay’s report
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has welcomed the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka to the 25th session of the Human Rights Council.
The High Commissioner’s report contains a comprehensive and accurate depiction of the serious human rights issues facing Sri Lanka. The Report has benefited from the High Commissioner’s visit to Sri Lanka, where she was able to observe first-hand the issues of concern to victims and survivors in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, the TNA said in a press release.
It added that the High Commissioner has raised a number of serious concerns in her Report which also pertain to the entire country: the treatment of former combatants and detainees; attacks on religious minorities; the attack on dissent and the freedom of expression; the government’s dismal record in implementing LLRC recommendations; and the government’s disinterest in making progress on accountability.
It added that the TNA also take serious note of the High Commissioner’s observations on the impermissibility of amnesty provisions in respect of international crimes and gross violations of human rights.
The TNA has and continues to articulate victims’ demands for truth, justice, just resolution of land issues reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence; the undesirability of blanket amnesty provisions; and the need to give effect to the duty to prosecute international crimes and gross human rights abuses.
The TNA also unequivocally supports the High Commissioner’s recommendation that the Human Rights Council establish an international inquiry mechanism to further investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws, in addition to monitoring any domestic processes for accountability initiated by the Government of Sri Lanka. We believe that such a mechanism is necessary in the light of the government’s unwillingness to take steps towards accountability.
The statement added that the TNA is mindful of the important need for all communities in Sri Lanka to reckon with the past in a spirit of reconciliation. “We sincerely believe that an international Commission of Inquiry into allegations against both sides will provide our communities the space and environment to come to terms with crimes committed in our respective names. The TNA remains committed to leading the Tamil people through a painful process of introspection, and encourages the government to use the opportunity of an international inquiry to break with the past and meaningfully pursue reconciliation. “