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TMK blasts TNA's reluctance to establish an 'international, independent accountability mechanism'

The Thamizh Makkal Kootanii (TMK), has issued a statement calling out the comments regarding the UN reports released by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and TNA parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran, saying that Sumanthiran is 'misguiding Tamils' and claimed that the TNA 'wants Tamils to believe that very little can be done to achieve accountability for Sri Lanka’s crimes.' 

TMK suggested that Sumanthiran telling Tamil to accept the briefings of the UN reports on Sri Lanka as an equivalent to international investigations, rather than urging a Special International Criminal Tribunal for Sri Lanka or to refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court (ICC), is 'not correct' and that these reports "did not bring justice to Tamils for the mass atrocities committed against them by the Sri Lankan Security Forces and Sri Lankan State' and failed to take any meaningful action against those who committed the mass atrocities." "Tamils deserve to be treated with more decency and professionalism," they added. 

TMK highlighted the two UN reports as 'incomplete' and lacking victim statements to corroborate the findings. Moreover, they do not "make recommendations about who is criminally responsible for the acts they record" and are only the initial stage in achieving justice: 

1) Recommendation 1B of the 2011 “Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka” (known as the Darusman Report) reads, in part:

The Secretary-General should immediately proceed to establish an independent international mechanism, whose mandate should include the following concurrent functions:

(i) Monitor and assess the extent to which the Government of Sri Lanka is carrying out an effective domestic accountability process, including genuine investigations of the alleged violations and periodically advise the Secretary-General on its findings;

(ii) Conduct investigations independently into the alleged violations, having regard to genuine and effective domestic investigations.”

2) The 2012 “Report of the Secretary-General's Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka” (known as the Petrie Report) describes many of the events surrounding the final phases of the war, but its purpose was only to help the UN learn from its mistakes. Paragraph 82 of the Petrie Report reads: It is beyond the scope of the Panel’s mandate to assess current events and corresponding UN action in Sri Lanka. It is nevertheless clear that there can be no lasting peace and stability without dealing with the most serious past violations and without a political response to the aspirations of Sri Lanka’s communities. The UN cannot fulfil its post-conflict and development responsibilities in Sri Lanka without addressing these fundamental concerns; and the UN should continue to support implementation of the recommendations of the Panel of Experts on Accountability

TMK maintained that "the Tamil people have called for international judicial proceedings that can assess the criminal guilt of Sri Lankan personnel, because domestic mechanisms will never deliver justice" and a "full inquiry led by the UN Secretary-General is still necessary to prepare international criminal charges and to fulfill Tamils’ aspirations.

"The travel ban on Silva is the result of a prima facie case established by various investigations, including the International Truth and Justice Project’s report and testimonies of victims to fact-finding missions," said TMK as they called for all similar prima facie cases to be brought to trial. 

The TMK statement claimed that Sumanthiran is fearful that a comprehensive international investigation revealing "war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide" would prompt the international community to submit a bid for a referendum among Tamil people to determine their political aspirations and that the TNA is reluctant to "establish an international, independent accountability mechanism," with the international community. 

"While witness statements are necessary for war crimes charges, only an international tribunal (like those in Rwanda, Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia) would have the legitimacy needed to deliver charges of crimes against humanity and genocide," TMK reiterated. 

The full statement can be seen below: