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TNA remains sceptical over government commission

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said it remained sceptical over the government's Missing Persons Commission, despite the government's attempts to increase its credibility through reportedly widening the mandate and appointed three international experts.

Highlighting the government's previous high profile appointments that still failed to yield answers, the TNA spokesperson, Mr Premachandran said in an interview to the Sunday Leader on Sunday:

"The question is why the government took all this time to do that.
Previously under several occasions the government appointed commissions and international experts to overlook investigations but none was implemented successfully."

"With regard to Udalagama Commission, the government did not let the experts to overlook the investigations and act independently. We have previous examples why we cannot rely on the government. We do not know exactly what is going to happen to this Commission. Therefore we will need to discuss its new mandate."

Asked if the TNA would facilitate Tamils giving evidence before the Commission, Mr Premachandran said the TNA had already been encouraging people to give evidence before the UN inquiry, voicing concern over the lack of witness protection with regards to the government commission.

"The problem is not with encouraging people to give evidence but with protection for the witnesses. It is the government who has to encourage people to give evidence by assuring protection for witnesses. The government needs to come out and say that people are free to give evidence before both commissions. Then, people will decide whether to give evidence before one of the commissions," he said.

Echoing his scepticism, the TNA MP, Maavai Senathirajah told the Sunday Leader "that the TNA has doubts about the whole procedure of the Missing Persons Commission" adding however, that it would consider meeting with the international experts, if invited to do so.

“According to Minister Rambukwella, the government would decide whether to accept or reject the advice of the foreign experts. If that is the case, we cannot expect much from them,” Mr Senathirajah said.

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