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International investigation is essential agree Tamil political parties across North-East

Photograph Shalin

An international investigation into mass atrocities committed against the Tamil people during the final stages of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009 is essential said all Tamil parties contesting at this month's general election in the North-East electoral districts on Saturday.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil National People's Front (TNPF), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Crusaders For Democracy (CFD) and Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) unanimously agreed that a domestic inquiry in Sri Lanka would give rise to potential bias and impartiality, as those responsible for committing the crimes would have undue influence over the inquiry.

TNPF's V Manivannan (left), TNA's M A Sumanthiran (right)

Taking part in a question panel organised by the Jaffna Manager's Forum in Uruvil this weekend, '2015 General Election Question Time', representatives of the five parties, including the TNA's former MP, M A Sumanthiran, TNPF's media spokesperson, V Manivannan, the TULF's candidate T Vignarajah, the CFD's party leader, N Vithyaharan and the EPDP's paramilitary leader, Douglas Devananda, said that an urgent international justice mechanism was essential.

 Left to Right: T Vignarajah TULF, N Vithyaharan CFD, D Devananda EPDP

Time must not be wasted delaying the establishment of such a process, said representatives of all the parties present, adding that it was crucial that the victims saw justice done quickly.

The event took place days after a Channel 4 news report said that an internal UN document being produced was looking at a purely domestic process of accountability.
Party representatives were also asked for their views on the ongoing militarisation and military occupation of the North-East, the long-term detention of Tamil political prisoners, and the disappearance of thousands at the end of the armed conflict.

The United National Party (UNP) was also invited to take part in the discussion forum, however, the party did not participate.