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Tamils have no trust in local inquiry by Sri Lankan govt says TNA spokesperson

The spokesperson of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said the Tamil people have no trust in a local inquiry process by the Sri Lankan government into mass atrocities committed against the Tamils at the end of the armed conflict, rejecting the new government's pledge to launch another domestic commission to investigate the allegations.

Stating that the UN inquiry, which is underway and due to publish its findings at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva next month, was "trustworthy and acceptable to all", the spokesperson, Suresh Premachandran, said the "the current Sri Lankan government must firstly accept that report [by the UN inquiry]" and cooperate with future steps by the council.

Speaking to local journalists on Wednesday, Mr Premachandran said: "Everyone in Sri Lanka knows what happened to former internal inquiry reports. Either they [the reports] have not been implemented or an inquiry itself has not been conducted."

"Further it is because the former government did not conduct an inquiry into the war crimes and human rights violations that 2 years after the war finished, that the UNHRC came to the decision to have such an investigation," he added.

Mr Premachandran went on to say:

"Even the current government says that they cannot accept [the UN inquiry], as they have not signed the Rome Statute. They say they will investigate the former Rajapaksa government’s various corrupt activities and human rights violations."

"But now the UN has finished conducting an international investigation. That inquiry report is therefore credible and trustworthy to all. The current Sri Lankan government must firstly accept that report."

"It is quite evident that the Tamil people cannot have any trust in the inquiry that the Sri Lankan government will conduct."

"Based on the Tamil people’s past experiences, the inquiry that they [the Sri Lankan government] talk about is not acceptable, to bring about the truth and justice that Tamils demand. Not only accepting the upcoming report but future next steps are also important."

"The 100 day plan does not have a solution for our problems. What is said is that it is only the government that comes after parliamentary elections that will speak about a solution to the ethnic crisis."

"The UN inquiry is very important for the Tamil people. Therefore the UN should not stop with the report, it should take future steps. The issues in the inquiry report, Why the war happened? For what reason many hundreds were killed? On what basis were they killed? These things will be in the report. Even though, we will only know after the inquiry report comes what is included in it, the issues in it should be implemented and next steps should be taken. The UN has to implement it."

"Even though regime change has taken place, the question of whether there will be a change in the lives of Tamils remains. If changes are to occur, the UN inquiry report’s proper implementation alone can push towards a solution to the Tamil ethnic crisis."

Related articles:

UK MPs call for Sri Lanka to co-operate with UN inquiry or face sanctions (28 Jan 2015)

Tamils in Mannar urge international community to investigate war crimes in Sri Lanka (26 Jan 2015)

Sri Lanka's new government and the possibility of justice (23 Jan 2015)

UK, Canada urge President Sirisena to cooperate with UN inquiry as he takes office (09 Jan 2015)

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