28 October, 2020

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An Appeal To The GoSL To Reverse Its Present Line Of Thinking And Action

By R. Sampanthan

R Sampanthan

Mr. Deputy Speaker,  I move:

“Whereas two statements were made on the Floor of the House on 09th April, 2013, by the Hon. Leader of the Opposition and by the Hon. Minister of External Affairs, pertaining to the Resolution No. A/HRC/22/L.1 on ‘Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka’ adopted by the Human Rights Council.

And whereas the Hon. Minister of External Affairs in the course of his Statement made specific reference to certain matters which need to be further clarified.

And whereas such clarity is necessary in the interests of the country and its people, and to ensure that the people know the truth. And whereas, the constructive recommendations contained in the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and embodied in the said resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council, included the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, demilitarize the North of Sri Lanka, implement impartial land dispute resolution mechanisms, re-evaluate detention policies, strengthen formally independent civil institutions, reach a political settlement on the devolution of power to the provinces, promote and protect the right of freedom of expression for all, and enact rule of law reforms. And whereas the said resolution also expressed concerns regarding the threats to judicial independence and the rule of law, and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief.

And whereas no credible efforts are being made to adequately address serious allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law referred to in the said resolution. And whereas the actions of the Government are resulting in further deterioration generally, particularly relating to land issues in all districts of the North and East and desecration of places of religious and cultural importance.

And whereas neither Reconciliation nor Accountability can be promoted by the continuance of the present actions of the Government, and whereas the said actions of the Government are only promoting disharmony and ill-will amongst peoples and impunity amongst those engaged in such actions.

This Motion therefore urges the Government in the interests of the country and all its peoples (1) To take immediate action to reverse its current actions relating to land in the districts of the North and East. (2) To take meaningful and effective steps to genuinely implement the said resolution of the Human Rights Council.”

Mr. Deputy Speaker, having read my Motion, may I state that the country is at a very critical and crucial stage in its post-conflict era. The question before the country is whether in the post-LTTE era, the country is to get back to the practices and processes that were the root causes for the conflict or whether the country is to chart a new course.                                          

If the country was to chart a new course, in order to achieve genuine reconciliation based on accountability and justice, we have much to learn from the various processes that have taken place during the period of the conflict and we should all approach the issue with a sense of inclusiveness and magnanimity. We have always endeavoured to move forward, not backwards.  It is in that spirit that this Debate takes place.  It is not intended to inflict any harm on Sri Lanka or the Sri Lankan people.  It is to enable all – its peoples – to endeavour to live together in a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka.

There were two statements made on 9th April, 2013 by the Hon. Leader of the Opposition and the Hon. Minister of External Affairs respectively.  It is with the statement of the Hon.Minister of External Affairs that we are primarily concerned.  Sri Lanka is a member of the United Nations and the UN Human Rights Council is an institution of the United Nations. Sri Lanka has also served on the Human Rights Council. We are a part of that institutional arrangement.  We have not disassociated ourselves from that arrangement.  There may be some resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council which Sri Lanka may not like or agree with.

But, that does not mean that you cease to be a part of that arrangement or that you can deviate from commitments that you have made to the UN system. Some efforts have also been made to make out that security or financial considerations more than the merits of the Resolution are the reasons for the Resolution being adopted. This, in my respectful submission, does not seem quite correct.

From the data available, US foreign aid extended to the 25 Member States that voted for the Resolution totalled less than US Dollar 1 billion for 2012 while US foreign aid extended to the 13 Member States voting against the Resolution, exceeded US Dollars 2 billion for the same year, while US foreign aid extended to the 8 Member States that abstained from the Resolution exceeded US Dollars 1.7 billion for that year.

Yet another interesting feature is that the countries which have a stronger trading relationship with Sri Lanka were those that were most supportive of the Resolution. Within the voting group, those who voted for the Resolution accounted for over 80 per cent of Sri Lanka’s exports, while the countries that voted against the Resolution or abstained from voting accounted for only one-fifth or 20 per cent of the exports. If trade is a sign of a healthy relationship between countries, it is the countries that have the strongest such relationship with Sri Lanka, that are saying that Sri Lanka should improve its governance. India has not been included in this Equation because by virtue of its size, its economic strength and its closeness to Sri Lanka, it stands quite differently.

In regard to security considerations, many countries that have voted against the Resolution are dependant heavily on the US for security purposes; Kuwait, Maldives, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia being some of them. Some of the other reasons attributed for distancing Sri Lanka from the Resolution are :

1.            There is to be an oral update by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in September, 2013

2.            There is to be a comprehensive report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  followed by a discussion in March, 2014.

These, Mr. Deputy Speaker, are inevitable steps in a process that has commenced and are not unusual. If what was required to be done was done in time, this Resolution would, perhaps, never have been passed or would never have come up.

The only way to bring the Resolution and this process to a closure is at least to do now what needs to be done and more than that stop doing things that should not be done.

Yet another reason mentioned is that the Resolution seeks to incorporate the Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights which calls for an international investigation. The Hon. Minister states that the High Commissioner for Human Rights called for this international investigation one week after the hostilities ended in May 2009 and wants to know on what evidence she called for an international investigation.

I wish to quote what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on 13th March, 2009,  two months before the war ended, while the war was still in progress. She said, I quote:

“Certain actions being undertaken by the Sri Lankan military and by the LTTE may constitute violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. We need to know more about what is going on, but we know enough to be sure that the situation is absolutely desperate. The world today is ever sensitive about such acts that could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

She knew what she was talking about because she was following what was going on during the course of the war. So, she talked about what happened during the war, not merely one week after the war. She talked about it when the war was going on.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights had been even more specific recently when she answered a direct question on this issue.  That is quite recently and I would like to quote that question and answer.

This is what the question was and I quote:

“You keep calling for an international war crimes investigation, particularly, into what happened during the final stages of the war. Why is this still so important?”

and the answer that she gave was this and I quote:

“Because tens of thousands of civilians were reportedly killed. Because there are very credible allegations and some strong pictorial evidence and witness accounts indicating that war crimes and other serious international crimes, including summary executions, use of child soldiers and the use of civilians as human shields took place on a large scale.  These are crimes that are viewed with the utmost seriousness under international human rights and humanitarian law, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest both sides committed them. Unfortunately, none of the steps taken domestically in Sri Lanka, to investigate any of this, inspire confidence. There is a long history of national inquiries in Sri Lanka that have led nowhere, but to impunity. This makes such an international investigation essential. Crimes like these cannot simply be ignored or pushed aside. If  there has been exaggeration or distortions, or unjust allegations, then such an inquiry should also expose those. There has to be justice, if there is to be lasting peace. ”

That was the statement Sir, she made more recently on 24th of February, 2013.

It must be said in fairness to the High Commissioner that she seems to have at all times, before the war ended, when the war ended and after the war ended, known quite clearly what she is saying.

Another reason mentioned is that the Resolution seeks to incorporate the Report of the Panel of Experts appointed by the Secretary-General of the UN which the Hon. Minister likes to call the Darusman Report. Two grounds are alleged for this position that the Hon. Minister outlined for not being able to even look at that Report.  One is that the persons that the Panel spoke to asked for an assurance that their identity would not be disclosed for 20 years. Given the nature of the testimony these persons were giving and the persons against whom they were testifying – I cannot see what was wrong in that but what is really the correct position This is referred to Sir, on page six of the Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability under the caption “Confidentiality of the Panel’s records.”  I would like to quote what it states:

“E Confidentiality of Panel’s records.

‘23. In some instances, the Panel received written and oral material on the condition of an assurance of absolute confidentiality in the subsequent use of the information. The Office of Legal Affairs confirmed through formal legal advice that the provisions set out in the Secretary-General’s Bulletin on “Information sensitivity, classification and handling” could be applied to its records. This Bulletin provides for classification of a document as ‘strictly confidential’ with correspondingly strict limits on any access for a period of 20 years,…”

This was not something sinister or something unusual. It was the practice being adopted by the Secretary-General in terms of a bulletin which covered such issues that there would be confidentiality for a period of 20 years.

What is your own position in regard to confidentiality? There was a Bill called “Assistance and Protection to Victims of Crime and Witnesses Bill”, Bill No. 1306 which was tabled in Parliament on the 6th of June 2008. The judgment of the Supreme Court in regard to that Bill was tabled in Parliament on the 5th of June.  The Second Reading commenced on the 17th of June. It continued on the 19th of June. I have with me here a copy of the Bill and copies of the relevant Hansards. What happened after the 19th of June? You abandoned the Bill. The Bill was not proceeded with. Why did you abandon the Bill? The Bill was brought to this House to enact legislation to ensure the safety of victims and witnesses, to ensure the protection of victims and witnesses. The Bill was brought to this House under pressure from the International Independent Eminent Group of Persons who had been invited to this country and appointed by the Government to overlook the work of the Commission that was inquiring into very serious human rights violations like the massacre of the five students in Trincomalee and 17 aid workers in Mutur. Of course, they eventually withdrew from the country. Having endeavoured to make their best contribution, they stated in a public interview that they gave before they left the country that there was no commitment on the part of the Sri Lankan Government, no will on the part of the Sri Lankan Government to investigate grave violations of human rights in keeping with international norms and standards. What happened in the course of that inquiry that was conducted by the Commission appointed by the Government? The International Independent Group of Eminent Persons wanted evidence to be led before the Commission by an independent counsel.  Persons who were representing the Sri Lankan Government in regard to human rights violations before the Human Rights Council in Geneva were the same persons who were leading evidence on behalf of the victims before the Commission of Inquiry. The International Independent Eminent Group of Persons stated the view that there was a clear conflict of interest when the same lawyers handled both these contradictory positions leading evidence on behalf of the victims on the one hand and defending the Government and its armed forces on the other hand by the same people before the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The International Independent Group of Eminent Persons wanted a law enacted for the protection of victims and witnesses. That was how you brought the law, but you abandoned the law. Some of the witnesses left the country. They were afraid to stay in the country. The Commission commenced calling evidence through teleconferencing. That was stopped. Two persons appearing on behalf of those who were accused of the crimes before the Commission protested against evidence being recorded through teleconferencing and directives went out to the Commission that such evidence should not be recorded and the recording of such evidence was stopped. This cannot be denied.  It is all a matter of record, it can be proved. Why did you do that?  You say that it was wrong on the part of the Panel of Experts to have adopted a normal rule that is applicable in the UN system, where persons who gave information or evidence in regard to sensitive matters, had a right to keep those matters confidential for a period of 20 years. Is this fair? When this is your own record, how can you complain about the adoption of what has been a regular procedure, a regular process in the UN?

What is the position today in regard to the inquiry pertaining to the massacre of the five students in Trincomalee and the 17 aid workers in Mutur? The Commission itself submitted a report. Where is that report? Why has that report not been made public? Why are they being concealed? More than that, let us see what the Government’s position is in recent times. The Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, the President’s Special Envoy on Human Rights,  goes to Geneva on the 27th of February, 2013. What did he state in Geneva in regard to these two matters? He said, I quote:

“  ‘The government of Sri Lanka’s efforts continue, through the relevant agencies, to bring finality to the crimes involved in these two cases. I am able to announce that in the case of the five students, the Attorney General has instructed the    Police to commence a non-summary inquiry before judicial authorities. Thus this matter may be brought to a  conclusion and is concrete evidence of our commitment to accountability,’…”

Five students who were standing on the beach in Trincomalee, who were in the university or had passed their GCE (Advanced Level) and awaiting admission to the university, were slaughtered on the beach. They were shot and killed. Seven years later, on 13th February, 2013 a Minister of this Government has the temerity, the impudence to go before the Human Rights Council and say that a non-summary inquiry is going to be  started and very soon things will be brought to a conclusion. I do not think the non-summary inquiry has started even now. A non-summary inquiry, Sir, as you know, probably starts in 10 days’ time. The trial would take place in the High Court or in the Assize Court in three months’ time or six months’ time. Here, seven years have passed and you have the impudence and impertinence to go before the Human Rights Council and say that a non-summary inquiry was started and that you are confident that things will be brought to a conclusion and that that is concrete evidence of your commitment to accountability. That is your history and with this history, you question confidentiality being given to persons who testified in regard to very sensitive questions for a period of 20 years by the UN Panel of Experts.

The other ground of objection against the Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability has been that the report had been prepared entirely outside the intergovernmental process.

I wish to deal with this matter because it is a fairly important question. This entire process on the question of accountability, this entire issue on accountability commences with a Joint Communiqué issued by the President of Sri Lanka and the Secretary-General of the UN when the Secretary-General visited the country on 23rd May 2009, some days after the war came to an end.

I will read from that Joint Communiqué.  It states, I quote:

“Following is the  joint statement by the Government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations at the conclusion of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Sri Lanka on 23rd May”.

“The Government expressed its commitment to ensure the economic and political empowerment of the people of the North through its programmes”.

Then, we come to the issue of accountability. It says, I quote:

“Sri Lanka reiterated its strongest commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, in keeping with international human rights standards and Sri Lanka’s international obligations. The Secretary-General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Government will take measures to address these grievances.”

You accepted your international obligations. You said that you will fulfil your obligations in keeping with what was required to ensure the protection of human rights and you agreed, committed yourself to undertake measures that will address the question of accountability.

There was a specific commitment on the part of the Sri Lankan Government made in this Communiqué to address the question of accountability.

I would next refer to the “Terms of Reference” under which the Secretary-General appointed the Panel of Experts. This is what the Terms of Reference says. I quote:

“In the Joint Statement of the Secretary-General and the President of Sri Lanka issued at the conclusion of the Secretary-General’s visit in the country on 23 May 2009, the Secretary-General underlined the importance of an accountability process to address allegations of violations  of international humanitarian and human rights law committed during military operations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The President of Sri Lanka undertook to take measures to address these grievances. At this time and against this background:

1. The Secretary-General has decided to establish a panel of experts to advise him on the implementation of the said commitment with respect to the final stages of the war.

2. The purpose of the panel shall be to advise the Secretary-General on the modalities, applicable international standards and comparative experience  relevant to the fulfillment of the joint commitment to an accountability process, having regard to the nature and scope of alleged violations.”

This was the Terms of Reference on the basis of which the Secretary-General appointed his Panel of Experts. It is at Annex 2.8 on page 145 of the Report of the Panel of Experts under the Terms of Reference.

The Secretary-General appointed the Panel of Experts to advise him in regard to the implementation of the commitment made by the Government of Sri Lanka and in regard to the fulfilment of the joint commitment to an accountability process. That was the reason why the Secretary-General appointed the Panel of Experts. What have you to complain about? What was the need for an inter-governmental process in this situation when the Government concerned is a consenting party to the achievement of the given objective, and on the basis of that commitment made by the Government concerned the Secretary-General of the UN appoints a Panel of Experts to advise him, and they have come up with a report on the basis of the Terms of Reference under which they were appointed. What is the need, I ask you, for an inter-governmental process when you have given a commitment to the Secretary-General who has told you that accountability must be addressed, and you make a commitment to him and that is contained in a Joint Communiqué where you have agreed to address that commitment, to deal with that commitment, and on the basis of that undertaking that you give the Secretary-General of UN, he appoints a Panel of Experts to advise him.

I do not see in this situation what need there is for an inter-governmental process because the Government of Sri Lanka which is the Government concerned has already given its consent to the accountability process being carried out and to that question being addressed. There is no need for an inter-governmental process thereafter. The Secretary-General of UN has sent the Report of the Panel of Experts to the Government of Sri Lanka and also to the UN Human Rights Council. The Government of Sri Lanka had involved itself with the Panel of Experts; it has interacted with the Panel of Experts.  Though a visit by the Panel of Experts to Sri Lanka as wished by the Panel did not materialize, the Government of Sri Lanka has interacted with the Panel of Experts. Of course the visit by the Panel did not materialize because that is not an unusual thing in Sri Lanka. Recently, I think when the Chief Justice was impeached there was an international investigating group appointed by the International Bar Association headed by the former Chief Justice of India, Justice Sharma, to visit this country and make  an inquiry in regard to the impeachment process but they were not able to come here.

They conducted their investigations from abroad and came up with their report. So, the Panel of Experts or independent international investigators being denied a visit to this country is nothing new. But, the fact of the matter is that, here in this instance, as far as the Panel of Experts appointed by the Secretary-General of the UN is concerned, you have clearly given your consent to that process being undertaken and you cannot now say that there must be an intergovernmental process and that your consent has no relevance.

This Panel, Sir, has been quite frank. They have stated that its mandate did not extend to fact-finding or investigation. The Panel states in Page i of its Report, I quote:

“The Panel determined an allegation to be credible if there was a reasonable basis to believe that the underlying act or event occurred.”

The Report further states, I quote:

 “Allegations are considered as credible in this report only when based on primary sources that the Panel deemed relevant and trustworthy.”

So, the Panel, Sir, has been quite responsible in regard to what they did because they have come to certain conclusions. I would briefly read this for the purpose of record. Page ii of this Report states, I quote:

“Allegations found credible by the Panel

The Panel’s determination of credible allegations reveals a very different version of the final stages of the war than that maintained to this day by the Government of Sri Lanka. The Government says it pursued a ‘humanitarian rescue operation’ with a policy of “zero civilian casualties.” In stark contrast, the Panel found credible allegations, which if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law was committed both by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Indeed, the conduct of the war represented a grave assault on the entire regime of international law designed to protect individual dignity during both war and peace.”

This is contained in Page ii of the Panel’s Report and in conclusion, the Panel states, I quote:

“Thus, in conclusion, the Panel found credible allegations that comprise five core categories of potential serious violations committed by the Government of Sri Lanka: (i) killing of civilians through widespread shelling; (ii) shelling of hospitals and humanitarian objects; (iii) denial of humanitarian assistance; (iv) human rights violations suffered by victims and survivors of the conflict, including both IDPs and suspected LTTE cadre; and (v) human rights violations outside the conflict zone, including against the media and other critics of the Government.”

Those were the conclusions that the Panel came to in regard to the Government. The Commission also found six core categories of potential serial violations against the LTTE. I do not think, Sir, there is a need for me to read that out here.

Before I finish with the Panel’s Report, I would also like to state what the Panel had to say on accountability which is important. In regard to accountability, the Panel of Experts states on Page iv of their Report, I quote:

“… accountability goes beyond the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes that have been committed; rather it is a broad process that addresses the political, legal and moral responsibility of individuals and institutions for past violations of human rights and dignity. Consistent with the international standards mentioned above, accountability necessarily includes the achievement of truth, justice and reparations for victims.”

That was in regard to the report of the panel of expert, Sir. Now, before I conclude, I would also like to  say a few words about certain other issues. As one who has been closely observing the conduct of the war and its various dimensions from within the country and also as one who has been fully involved in the various efforts to evolve  an acceptable political solution and as one concerned about the relationship between the conduct of the war, its end and a political solution which seems quite illusive, I wish to express my views on these issues, Sir, because they are very important as far as the country is concerned.

The official estimate of the Sri Lankan State was that there were around 70,000 Tamil civilians confined in the area, in the Vanni where the war took place. Eventually around 300,000 Tamil civilians came alive out of this area. Most of the estimates cautiously put the figure at around 250,000. Our own inquiries revealed that the total number of Tamil civilians trapped in this area was closer to 400,000. This was the view of the affected Tamil civilians. There is without question, a sharp discrepancy between the figure stated by the Government and the true figure. No explanation has been offered in regard to this sharp discrepancy. Is this indicative of the culture of impunity reaching its zenith, totally disregarding and distorting the truth?

Essentials such as food, medicine, shelter and other requisites would have been and were officially made available only on the basis of the Government’s official estimate of 70,000 which inevitably must mean that a large number of Tamil civilian citizens would have been without food, medicine and shelter for weeks and months, such essentials being largely made available only by the Government.

All Non-governmental Organizations both domestic and international were ordered by the State to leave this area in the Vanni in September, 2008. These NGOs were rendering immense service in vital areas inclusive of shelter, food and medicine to these Tamil civilian citizens. These Tamil civilian citizens were thereafter deprived of such services. These NGO personnel were surely not fighting along with the LTTE against the Sri Lankan security forces. No reasonable explanation has been offered as to why these NGO personnel were en-masse directed to leave the area, when the displaced Tamil civilians were in dire need of their services and assistance particularly in the context of the Government’s clear underestimation of the total number of displaced Tamil civilian population in this area at that critical time.

Even UN personnel and ICRC personnel did not have free access to these areas. Has any reasonable explanation been offered as to why liberal access was not provided to these personnel? If liberal access was provided to these UN and ICRC personnel given their mandate, they could have made a significant contribution to alleviating the suffering of these people.

No one had access to this area. All media personnel were kept out. Media Personnel were sometimes taken on conducted tours; they had no free access to find out things or collect information by themselves. Has any reasonable explanation been offered in regard to the need to maintain such a high degree of secrecy? Does not this total lack of transparency, suggest that the truth was sought to be concealed.

The persons who came out of the conflict area were confined by the State under compulsion in camps, enclosed with barbed wires. There was no access to these camps. Tamil Members of Parliament were not able to visit these camps. They were denied entry. Relations and friends of these Tamil civilians were not able to visit these camps and meet these people, or be of assistance to them. These displaced Tamil civilians could not take up residence in host homes with relations or friends. This restriction which cannot be justified under the laws of the land was relaxed several months later. Was there a justifiable need to prevent contact between these affected Tamil civilians and others? Is this not again indicative of the culture of impunity that had become all pervasive. There seems to have been an assumption, that in regard to these Tamil civilians, persons in authority could act according to their whims, regardless of domestic or international law. These rules applied to all persons in the camps; men, women, youth and children. It was not confined to only persons who needed to be investigated.

Genuine reconciliation is not a purchasable commodity. It cannot be achieved by giving them false promises or by conferring on them partly benefits. To think that this can be done would be an insult to their self-respect and dignity.

I have raised in Parliament several times, the issue of the manner of the conduct of the war. I have done this while the war was being conducted. I have stated that the war was being conducted with wanton disregard for the safety and well-being of Tamil civilian citizens. There is a widely held view that the war was conducted with the view of also subduing, subjugating and suppressing the Tamil people. This view holds the position that while the war was conducted so as to destroy the LTTE, which was waging an armed struggle against the Sri Lankan State in the name of the Tamil people, at the same time, yet another objective of the war was suppressing and subjugating the Tamil people and thereby negating the need for a political solution. This is a question to which an answer should be forthcoming, and it can come only from the Government. The answer should be in the form of credible and tangible action that demonstrates the Government’s commitment to a just and acceptable political solution.

I must say with much regret Sir, that we still do not see these happening and we do not know whether it will happen going by things that are presently being said and being done in this country.  Sir, the Tamil People have complained from after independence that they were subjected to discrimination, deprivation, inequality, injustice and exclusion; that the democratic verdicts of the Tamil people for a change in the structure of governance was not duly recognized, that governance was not with their free will and consent and that the Fundamental and Human rights of the Tamil people were being violated with impunity.

This commenced shortly after independence and has continued.

The Tamil people have lived in this country for as long as any other people. They have preponderantly lived in the Northern and the Eastern Parts of the country. They have their own civilization, culture, customs, language, and by religion are largely Hindus or Christians. They have thus lived together as a people. While being willing wholeheartedly to be a part of the Sri Lankan polity, they treasure their rich Tamil identity and wish to preserve it. The Sinhala people themselves have their own rich identity and wish to preserve it. Since Independence, the Tamil people have begun to realize that they were not treated as equal citizens, the Tamil people were driven to feel that they were second-class citizens, who would not be treated as equal citizens by the State or even given necessary protection by the State when they were victims of wanton violence by those who wanted to subjugate them. They were discriminated against in the fields of education, employment, economic opportunity, utilization of resources in the districts which they historically inhabited, and denied their basic fundamental human rights such as even the right to life. They were denied equal protection under the law.

Sir, since the 1956 Elections, the Federal Party was overwhelmingly returned in the North and the East at every General Election; in March 1960, July 1960, 1965 and 1970. The Tamil people voted overwhelmingly for sharing of powers of governance and for regional autonomy in the North and the East. The Federal Party in its Election Manifesto in 1970 renounced a separate state, and called upon the Tamil people to vote against any candidate who contested on a separatist ticket. All such candidates were defeated. But, the democratic verdicts of the Tamil people were not recognized in any effective way. The Sinhala people were able to decide on their governance, they were able to exercise their sovereignty. The Tamil people by reason of their being numerically a minority in the whole country, were not able to have a say in their governance, in keeping with their democratic wish, even in the areas in which they were a majority, they were denied their sovereignty. They were being governed without their consent and against their will. Tamil political leadership made every effort through peaceful and non-violent means to bring about a change in the structure of governance.

The Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact of 1957, the “Satyagraha”, peaceful non-violent civil disobedience campaign in 1961 by which civil administration in the North and the East was crippled for some months, and in which tens of thousands of Tamil civilians, men, women, youth and children, participated; the Dudley Senanayake – Chelvanayakam Pact in 1965, the National Government between 1965 and 1970 when the Federal Party was a partner in the National Government and the contribution of the Federal Party at the Constituent Assembly proceedings between 1970 and 1972 for reasonable accommodation of Tamil aspirations which was denied, when it was sought to replace the Constitution under which the country attained independence, and which had provided certain fundamental safeguards, for the minority people, with a new Republican Constitution and the consequent walkout by the Federal Party from Constituent Assembly, are amongst the milestones along that path.

The enactment of the 1972 Constitution and the provisions contained therein, relating particularly to the structure of Governance, Religion and Language, breached the compact under which the country was granted independence in terms of the Soulbury Constitution. It was the enactment of the 1972 Constitution and the entrenchment of the unitary character of the State, which was not contained in the Soulbury Constitution and which was in direct contravention of the Tamil proposition for a Federal System of government, wherein  powers of governance would be shared,  the removal of the safeguards provided for in the earlier Constitution for the protection of the rights of minority people, the language and religion of the majority community being accorded primacy, and the various other acts of discrimination and deprivation and the violence unleashed against the Tamils as a People consistently and persistently in 1956, in 1958, in 1961, in 1977, in 1981 and in 1983 that led to the demand for a separate state  and total sovereignty in 1976. The 1977 General Election was contested by the TULF on the basis of this demand. All Tamil Members of Parliament elected from the North and the East, barring one, were from the TULF.

The TULF, under international advice was willing to make a compromise on the demand for a separate state. Mr. A. Amirthalingam, the leader of the TULF and the leader of the Opposition in Parliament stated this both in Parliament and outside, shortly after the inauguration of 1977 Parliament. Sir, if the LTTE was regarded as an impediment on the Tamil side, to the evolution of an honourable political solution, the LTTE is not there any longer. It is absolutely fundamental that the forces of nationalist brinkmanship should no longer influence the political agenda on the other side. We are  strongly of the view, that this is a continuing phenomenon and that this must be quickly arrested and contained, and that it is only the Government which has the power and authority to do so. I have not the slightest doubt that the vast majority of the people in this country, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims are amenable to an acceptable, honourable and  peaceful political solution within the framework of a united, undivided country.

Sri Lanka achieved its Independence without a shot being fired. None of the peoples in Sri Lanka opposed Independence. All peoples extended their co-oporation to achieve Independence. Why did the country, over the course of sixty years, have to degenerate to its present position? We did not achieve Independence by militarily vanquishing our colonial rulers. We did not achieve Independence through a non-violent civil disobedience campaign, such as the “Sathyagraha” campaign waged under the leadership of the great Mahatma Gandhi in India.

We achieved independence because we the peoples who inhabited Sri Lanka, though diverse and with different historical backgrounds, were united and because the international system and international laws would no longer condone colonial rule. Peoples under colonial rule were entitled under international law to the right to external self-determination. The United Nations was the guardian of the international system and international law under which we became entitled to receive independence. The United Nations is the guardian of the international system, of international laws, of international conventions and practices. Such a custodian is necessary to preserve the international system and ensure compliance with international laws and international conventions and practices.

Today, this country misuses the strength of its independence to exclude a section of the people based on ethnicity from the benefits of that independence and to reduce them to the level of inferior citizens. These are people who did not oppose independence. They supported independence.

We call high officials of the UN terrorists and we threaten to arrest them. We vilify the Secretary-General of the UN because the Secretary-General of the UN asks that we comply with the commitments that we have made. Not complying with commitments that we have made is a part of the culture of impunity that has become so deeply ingrained in our pattern of behaviour and system of governance in this country.

Sir, with due respect, the term “democracy” has no meaning as far as the Tamil people are concerned. The democratic verdicts of the Tamil people since 1956 clearly mandated substantial self-rule and autonomy in the North and the East within a unified country. The democratic verdicts of the Tamil people were not accommodated within the framework of a united, undivided country. The resulting position was that while the Sinhala people had an effective say in their governance, the Tamil people did not have any say in their governance in keeping with their democratic verdicts. In fact, it could be said that the anti-Tamil pogroms over the decades, were related to the political demands of the Tamil people. For about three decades since independence, the political struggle of the Tamil people was non-violent and peaceful. During this period there was every opportunity for the conflict to be amicably and peacefully resolved. Despite Tamil political leadership strengthened by democratic mandates from the Tamil people extending its hand of friendship and cooperation, this was not achieved. During this period of around three decades only the Tamil people were victims of violence. The next three decades with the emergence of the LTTE saw substantial parts of the country, particularly the North and the East engulfed in extreme violence. All people were victims of this violence. All communities in the North and the East were also victims. The Tamil people in particular were the most severe victims in every way. The armed struggle of the LTTE has now come to an end.

The position now is much worse than before the war came to an end. In addition to all the deprivation they suffered earlier, they have now lost everything they had owned and possessed earlier.

They never had before and do not have now a sense of economic or political empowerment. To put it in simple language, the Tamil people do not have the ability to take control of their lives. This is because their democratic verdict is not respected. They have to deal with masters and rulers. They cannot deal with persons whom they have elected as their representatives to attend to their needs and to exercise political power on their behalf; to whom they can talk freely; whom they can question and who are answerable to them. They can only deal with masters and rulers who can be merciful as they wish to be, can be rude and arrogant if they wish to be. Are not the Tamil people being treated grossly differently from the Sinhala people? Is it not the true position that the Tamil people have a price to pay because they are Tamils? Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committee, this cannot continue.

A lesson that needs to be learnt Sir, from this country’s history since independence is that Sri Lanka has not been able to evolve a Constitution  based upon the consensus of its people, its multiethnic polity. Both the 1972 and 1978 Constitutions framed after independence, lacked a Tamil consensus and were instrumental in character being enacted by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party respectively to further their political ambitions. Such a Constitution based on consensus is basic to the progress and prosperity of a country and its people. Countries with such Constitutions despite difficulties, have acquired respectability, stability, progress and prosperity. Sri Lanka during their major part of its post independence history had been embroiled in internecine conflict, which in the past three decades have been violent, and has inflicted immense harm on the country. Our experiences in the past several decades, should make us all realize that in order to ensure that there is no repetition of the bitter and acrimonious experiences of the past, we resolve to put this era behind us and commence a new era based on hope and justice. The evolution of an acceptable Constitutional arrangement based upon consensus which is inclusive in character and accommodates the legitimate political aspirations of all its peoples, its multiethnic polity, is fundamental to the achievement of an honourable peace with dignity and justice. Democratic rights, Fundamental rights and Powers of Governance, need to be restructured in such a manner that would be acceptable to and find substantial consensus amongst Sri Lanka’s multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual and pluralist society that constitutes Sri Lanka.

“Democracy” is perhaps the most important and most precious of all tenets that needs to be properly understood. It is the fulcrum on which fundamental rights and good governance moves. Most unfortunately the tenet “Democracy” in Sri Lanka is not understood.  It is understood in the crudest possible perspective in Sri Lanka. Most people think that democracy is a vehicle to win an election by hook or by crook, thereby capture power, wield and enjoy such power. It may be said that this malady to a fair degree, has afflicted the body politic, who are beneficiaries of the abuse of the power so achieved.

It must be understood that inclusiveness, tolerance, pluralism, egalitarianism and justice are the hallmarks of a truly democratic society. This is not to state that the wishes of the majority of the people are irrelevant, but it certainly means that the wishes of the majority of the people must be guided by these fundamental elements, and that the political leadership should have the wisdom to guide the people in this regard. Great democracies the world over have acquired unity in diversity, respectability, stability and prosperity by adopting this spirit. A State, which does not accept these principles, cannot be regarded as a truly democratic State. In today’s context, Sri Lanka’s democratic credentials do not stand the test of scrutiny. The Sri Lankan State regrettably stands out as a majoritarian State, which does not uphold the rule of law, particularly in regard to the minority peoples, that excludes legitimate minority rights and concerns,  disregards the democratic verdicts of the Tamil people, and is strongly influenced in its governance, by sectarian nationalist thinking. This must change, and this is yet another lesson that must be learnt, if there is to be voluntary and genuine reconciliation, peace and harmony. A State, which claims to be democratic, but which distorts democracy, and practises majoritarian authoritarianism, will inexorably traverse the path of self destruction. To be truly democratic, is a lesson that a Sri Lankan State needs to learn early.

Sir, I do not wish to take anymore time, but I do want to say that as far the Tamil people in this country are concerned, they are for an honourable peace. They want a reasonable, workable and durable political solution to the conflict that has affected the country. I think such a solution is needed not merely by the Tamil people, but by the whole country.

As my Motion would indicate, Sir, I was also due to speak on a number of other matters incorporated to the UN Human Rights Council Resolution, particularly on land issues and even on issues where places of religious and cultural importance to the Tamil people have been vandalized and desecrated. Sir, lack of time prevents me from speaking on some of these matters. I am hoping to deal with these matters in a different way and I do hope that those matters need not be once again raised in Parliament. I would appeal to the Government to reverse its present line of thinking and action and think in terms of dealing with the problem, the issue, in an honourable way while evolving as I said before, a just and a reasonable political solution.

I thank you, Sir.

*TNA leader R. Sampanthan’s Speech in Parliament on 21st May 2013 – 

ACTION RELATING TO LAND IN NORTH AND EAST AND IMPLEMENTATION OF RESOLUTION OF HRC

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    LTTE proxy , the Hon Mr Sambandan the Leader of the TNA has given a long spiel about the bad things the Govt has done without mentioning even one word about, the 32 samaneras, 300 Muslim worshippers, hundreds of pilgrims in Maha Bodhi and Temple of the Tooth, numerous massacres of innocents in the East and massive suicide killing in Colombo and suburbs.

    And he says “the situation is worse today than before the war ended”.

    What a marvellous speech?.

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      Whether Sampanthan is LTTE proxy or not, he is an elected parliamentarian in Sri Lanka. The Government and Sinhala political parties are there to exaggerate LTTE attacks where as some one has to tell what happened to Tamils by the Government and its military. You have listed what happened to Sinhalese and Muslims by LTTE but if you can put those list of what happened to Tamils since 1948 to to date you won’t ask that question. LTTE is no more in the country and the situation in the North East is worse than before and it is the duty of the people’s representative to tell the truth in Parliament. Even the opposition leader highlighted the suffering of the people and land grabbing of Military and state. Why your government didn’t do such act when LTTE was there? Do you mean LTTE is the only that can stop such bad things that the government is doing? He is talking about the rule of law and justice. You must appreciate him.

      Here are few that appeared in Google church that happened:

      1. The Sri Lankan air force bombed a refugee-packed Catholic church in the northern Jaffna peninsula, killing 65 people including 13 babies…The military had dropped leaflets warning civilians to seek refuge in temples and churches to minimise the chance of death or injury in air strikes.”

      2. “Daily life in Jaffna is conditioned by the distant drone of aircraft engines and the run to the bunkers behind almost every house. There were no warnings, no air-dropped leaflets announcing operations. Why should there be? After all, no one is watching.”

      3.It is with dismay, horror and sadness I read of the bombing over the Jaffna peninsula… such indiscriminate killings and hostilities cannot be tolerated by people who care for peace in our world. Do stop the suffering and bloodshed. The world community is shocked at the barbarity.

      4. Bombers also hit a crowded market place in another town south of the Jaffna peninsula, with a 90 percent refugee population killing 22 people and seriously wounding 13. A refugee camp in a girls school, six miles outside Jaffna, was almost totally destroyed…

      5. After the government forces took control of a small island off the Jaffna peninsula 210 Tamils have disappeared and 365 persons have been massacred.

      6. The hospital has also been bombed and three weeks ago, a helicopter fired into the operating theatre, killing a doctor… Sri Lankans are just killing civilians at random

      7. Akkaraipattu massacre happened on 19 February 1986 when approximately 80 minority Sri Lankan Tamil farm workers were allegedly killed by the Sri Lankan Army personnel and their bodies burned in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka

      8. The massacre took place on the night of May 13, 2006 in the villages of Allaipiddy, Puliyankoodal, and Vangalady. In all three incidents, Sri Lankan Navy entered a home and opened fire on the residents. The deadliest incident took place in Allaipiddy, where nine people, including two children, died. Three more were killed in Puliyankoodal and one in Vangalady. Several people were wounded

      9. In 1998, allegations of mass graves at Chemmani were made by a Sri Lankan soldier on trial for rape and murder. He claimed hundreds of people who disappeared from the Jaffna peninsula after it was retaken by Government troops from the LTTE in 1995-1996 were killed and buried in mass graves near the village of Chemmani.

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        Ajith says ….. “Whether Sampanthan is LTTE proxy or not, he is an elected parliamentarian in Sri Lanka…”
        You forgot to mention that he is not only a elected parliamentarian in SL but he is behaving and demanding things as if LTTE Proxy had won the war …
        Sampathan should one day come to the reality that they lost the war and the unjust demand of eeellllaam
        completely …. Sooner he and his followers come to the reality, the Tamil community would be better off …
        His topic “An Appeal To The GoSL To Reverse Its Present Line Of Thinking And Action” says it all … Only problem is that he appeals to the GOSL to reverse its present line of thinking and action …. I think he should appeal to himself and his pals to reverse the present line of their thinking and action which based on the premiss that they had won the war …

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          Don’t come of with day time robberies and lies.
          First you must understand that Your states accepted over and over from 1956 that powers should be devolved to North East. This is not between LTTE and you, . It is between Sinhala and Tamil political parties. If you don’t know these facts please go and do some reference or ask your Sinhala politicians and people agreed for this.
          Your President agreed and assured to IC and India and People of the country that he will implement 13 Plus and people elected him on the basis of that and given him two third majority. Do you think he is a liar and your people have given only to kill Tamils? If you think why don’t you get rid of him and replace with BBS?

          Sampanthan asks now to implement 13th amendment plus in the North if the North to be part of Sri Lanka as in other provinces.
          If you don’t like that North should not be part of Sri Lanka leave the people of that part to live peacefully.

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          What has losing the war got to do with the Tamil rights for freedom??? As an elected parliamentarian from the Tamil speaking area, Sampathan has every right to behave and demand things that the Tamils were demanding right from independence (where the Tamils lost everything to the Sinhalese).

          Tamils may have lost the war but they will never ever cease their rights for freedom from the oppressive/occupied state.

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            Well said Ajith & ravi. Tx for that.

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      Adoi sumana modaya,
      when u going to start your damn called brain, come on use it don’t ignore your brilliant organ. that’s the problem of Sinhala budhist society….hope u start it first all u r bruv’s and sis follow u ….

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      K.A.Sumanasekera,
      He also forgot to eneumerate the more than 160 massacres of tamils,beginning soon after independence.

    • 0
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      …and you are jealous of the script and it’s post production.

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      Sumane

      This LTTE proxy would have been scared to speak about the killings mentioned by you for two reasons. One, is the Policemen and Muslims killed in Kalmuni and Kattankudy Mosque and Temple of the Tooth respectively were killed by Karuna Amman who is a Deputy Minister in the government. Therefore his mentioning is of no value to the government. Two, is the killers at Anuradhapura are no more living as they have been wiped out by May 2009. As a Muslim I wish to see whoever who had been involved in crimes should be taken to task.

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    Mr. Sampanthan,

    You forgot to mention “LTTE was the sole representative of Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka”.

    And “VP, the Sun God was your eternal national leader”. Ha..ha!

    PS: This guy and his TNA monkeys do nothing to promote goodwill and harmony among Sri Lankans. Sampanthan hopes and prays stupidity of Rajapassa clan will lead to an eventual intervention by IC. Leading to Ealam. The Sampanthan plot. That is his end goal. Everything else is utter BS. Tragic.

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      If the Govt. of Sri Lanka has done or is doing anything constructive to promote goodwill and harmony then accusing Mr. Sampanthan and the TNA is reasonable. It is in the absence of such initiative on the part of the Govt. when there are LLRC Recommendations, UN Resolutions, various promises by the Govt. etc. etc. that Mr. Sampanthan is reminding and insisting on the Govt. to take the initiative. That is what is said in his long statement.

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        Lanka Muslim,

        I support full implementation of LLRC.

        However, I donn not expect Rajapassa dictatorship to do so. Priority of the regime is to entrench a Rajapassa dynasty forever in Sri Lanka. Not resolving burning problems.

        That is a blessing in disguise to TNA monkeys. They are getting ready to fully exploit stupidity of the regime on an international platform. Showcase Sri Lanka as a “failed state”. One more time. Prompt “R2P” intervantions etc.

        Before you know it you will have East Timor, Kosovo situation in Sri Lanka.

        It is a dream scenario for TNA.

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          BH,
          Please tell us what TNA should do? Tx.

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            TNA can start by doing something to win the trust of the Sinhalese people that inhabit this beautiful country.

            Right now Sinhalese equal TNA to racist LTTE in their minds.

            It is a major problem to the whole country.

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              TNA is supported my majority of Tamils within and outside Sri Lanka. Racist and genocidal sinhalease polticians gave birth to LTTE. World is run by corrupt politicians. Rajapakse brothers are the problems – not TNA. TNA are doing the right thing. Sinhalease call themselves Budhist – they should start **practising Budhism**. Not building Budha statutes. We will wait and see what happens.

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              Anpu,

              Right. Blame the Sinhalese. All the way. Tamils are so totally innocent. Future looks indeed very bright. Going by your comments.

              Great. Enjoy waiting. Could be a while.

              PS: Do you enjoy waiting?

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              Anup,

              We should leave out the people who migrated to foreign lands as they should be more concerned about their new domicile. As for racism I would include the Tamil politicians too in the list. Tamil politicians have been responsible for most of the issues in Sri Lanka

    • 0
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      Exposing the Rajapaksa regime’s doublespeak, prevarication and blatant delaying tactics on the issue of accountability for you is simply a plot by Mr Sambanthan. Truth, when told so eloquently by an educated and decent Tamil leader is too much for you, eh? Any Tamil leader who asks for justice for the crimes against his people have an ulterior motive, eh?

      Why don’ t you for once listen and understand why Sri Lanka is in such a sorry state in the eyes of the international community? If it is any solace to you let me point out to you that the accountability issue is not going to go away and it will sully the credibility of the regime and the name of the country as long as it is not addressed. So, learn to live with the fact that the intransigent, racist, criminal and corrupt Rajapaksa regime is the one that is doing the damage to the country and not Mr Sambanthan. Good luck!

      • 0
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        Piranha,

        Sri Lanka faces three grave problems.
        1. Stupid, power hungry, dynasty building, corrupt Rajapassa clan. Exploiting ugliness of nationalism to solidify their power base.
        2. Extreme Tamil ethno-nationalistic racists such as TNA, BTF, GTF, TGTE etc.

        Both are busy going about trying to this beautiful country once again.

        Yes, I consider TNA and Sampanathan to be racist liars, just like Rajapassa siblings. TNA works in reality for Ealam. While giving BS to the public in SL.

        There are a lot of people waiting for accountability in Sri Lanka. Not just LTTE proxy TNA.

        What about accountability for JVP uprisings?

        What about accountability for citizens who die in Police cells every year?

        List is endless.

        Sri Lanka has a comprehensive governance, democracy crisis in the whole country.

        TNA is magnifying these problems through their narrow, racist glass. Hoping to exploit them. Sorry, their sudden interest for “accountability” is highly suspicious.

        Justice will be done in Sri Lanka. By Sri Lankans. Sooner or later. I work for that day.

        We do not need racist political parties such as TNA or corrupt dictators such as Rajapassa siblings in that future.

        Above all we do not need International hypocrites involved in Sri Lanka. Ever again.

        PS: “I am not going to censor myself to satisfy your ignorance”.

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          Ben Hurling

          “Extreme Tamil ethno-nationalistic racists such as TNA, BTF, GTF, TGTE etc.”

          Could you justify your above assertion with theoretical argument set in historical context.

          I would be most grateful.

          Accountability should cover the period from 5th April 1971 to date.

          “Above all we do not need International hypocrites involved in Sri Lanka. Ever again.”

          This is globalised world corporations and states perusing their own agenda which increasingly intruding into our life. You cannot wish away these trends.

          Now it appears that easing oneself has become their business and not individuals business any more. Simply put they want to know what time I use the toilet in the morning and they love to control it.

          Would you like them to control performing your nature’s call?

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            Native Vedda,

            Exploring the assertion “TNA is an extreme, Tamil, ethno-nationalistic, racist outift” with theoretical argument set in historical context would be material for a PhD thesis.

            I am not an isolationist. I am for full and active participation of SL in the world. Look at Switzerland. They get to eat the cake and keep it at the same time. Not bad for a small country.

            What I am opposed is Sri Lanka beoming an easy target for great Geo-Political games in the Indian ocean. Mainly due to our own stupidity. Aided and cunningly exploited by ethno-nationalistic separatists such as TNA.

            Cheers!

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              Ben Hurling

              I am sure you do not know much about Switzerland either.

              Their political system provides for the direct representation, power sharing and periodic referendum on key issues and element of empowerment to its diverse people.

              Please read up on Switzerland and we may have a fruitful discussion until the cows come home.

              Name dropping is Dayan’s purview.

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        Pirnaha,

        Accountability status right now:
        “- Addressing concerns relating to accountability, the only authoritative and credible source of information relating to the demographics and those killed and untraceable in the Northern Province during the period 2005 – 2009, the Enumeration of Vital Events 2011 in the Northern Province (EVE 2011) by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) conducted during the months of June and July 2011, has estimated that the total number dead from 1 January to 31 May 2009 is 8998, including deaths caused due to old age/sickness, natural deaths, deaths due to accidents/homicides/suicides and other causes. Out of this, 7896 are probable conflict related deaths, which include LTTE cadres killed in action, LTTE cadres and civilians who escaped from the conflict zone and had travelled to other parts of Sri Lanka/overseas, civilians likely to have been killed in cross fire and civilians killed by the LTTE whilst escaping from LTTE control, false reporting, found to be alive, deaths reported but not during the period of Humanitarian Operation and those who have gone overseas/moved to other parts of Sri Lanka/ untraceable etc. It would be recalled that from Jan – May 2009 around 2,400 Sri Lankan security forces personnel were killed and around 11,000 wounded, which indicates the intensity of the LTTE resistance at the time. The GoSL has embarked on a fresh survey on deaths, injuries, untraced and property damages as recommended by the LLRC NPoA and this survey is expected to provide vital information to respond to many questions raised related to deaths, injuries and those untraced during the conflict”.

        -Cortesy Ambassador Ravinatha Ariyasingha-

        PS: I guess to satisfy you we need International investigations, eh?

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      Ben u monkey go back to u r Sinhala evil budhist history, u monkeys love blood and violence. u proved since 1948. come on educate u r bros and sis then srilnaka and tamilealam will be peace and quiet.

      • 0
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        Gajamuthu got virile of a sudden.

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      Ben Hurling

      “Sampanthan hopes and prays stupidity of Rajapassa clan will lead to an eventual intervention by IC. Leading to Ealam”

      The idea of Eelam if and when it arrives is not a right, but a gift from India supported by the IC for the excellent contribution made by the Sinhala/Buddhists towards its creation.

      It looks like Sinhala/Buddhists under Clan leadership are working very hard 24/7/52 to create Eelam. BTF, GTF, GTV, TGTE,… can now relax for a bit. MR, Jim Softy, Sumanasekere,Leela, BenHurlings and others are desperate to give Eelam on a platter to Sampanthan.

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    Every body knows that TNA are LTTE proxies and how they behaved and talked when LTTE was functioning in Sri Lanka. There are many tamils who financed suicide bomber operations in Sri Lanka. Adel balasingham is one who graduated Women – LTTE cadres by giving them the Cyanide capsule. Western hemisphere is full of tamils who financed and originated many violent activities.

    Why don’t you Sampanthan start from that end. then we can understand Tamil politicians are HONEST, OPEN and has SOME INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

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      JimSofty

      You are talking about LTTE proxies but the real hardcore LTTE members are sleeping on your President’s lap in temple trees. KP was only second to VP, he got all the money and arms for VP to fight.

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        Ravi

        Where is Pottu Amman?

        Is he sharing a bed with Gota?

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    It is some TNA members who pissed in the middle of the Parliament building and Sampanthan knows who did that ?

    Why don’t you take action on that kind of things first ?

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    [Edited out]
    We are sorry the comment language is English – CT

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    For sampanthan and the TNA clan reconciliation means revenge and satisfying tamil appetite for sinhala blood, particularly those of Rajapakses.

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    Readers who blame LTTE may not know the attrocities against Tamils
    which resulted in th birth of LTTE.

    A record maintained by an NGO in a book of more than 150 pages
    is accessible in this website:

    http://www.nesohr.org/files/Lest_We_Forget.pdf

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      Yes, the whole issue is we are forgeting what we did to the tamils.

      There will not be any reconciliation until we take responsibility and regret the actions we have done in the past. If we don’t reconciliation will only happen two or three generations down the line once all those who suffered are dead and forgotten.

      Once both sides have understood this and have learnt to have compassion to each other then they will be ready to sit together and discuss how to mend things.

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      Second part From 2002 to 2008
      http://www.nesohr.org/files/Lest_We_Forget-II.pdf ,
      http://tamilnation.co/indictment/index.htm &
      CH4 Killing Fields would cover the injustice done by sinhalease politicians on Tamils from 1948.

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    It must be understood that inclusiveness, tolerance, pluralism, egalitarianism and justice are the hallmarks of a truly democratic society.

    This must be the reason why he said LTTE was the sole representative of Tamil people.

    • 0
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      What are you talking about;

      Tamilnadu, Tamil eelam or TGTE ?

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    I thank the CT for giving us an opportunity to read the statement made by Mr. R.Sampanthan in Parliament. His statement, mainly in reply to the statements that were made on the Floor of the House on 09th April 2013 by the Hon. Leader of the Opposition and by the Minsiter of External Affairs. In making his statement he says:

    “And whereas the Hon.Minister of External Affairs in the course of his Statement made specific reference to certain matters which need to be furather clarified”. In continuing he says that clafification is necessary “in the interest of the country and its nation”.

    CT: Don’t you agree, without that “Statement of the Hon.Minister of External Affairs, that he deals extensively, it is not possible to see the relevancies, comment or even comprehend what Mr. Sampanthan is speaking of? To me this looks “undue” publicity given to a “one sided story”.

    Over to you CT.

    @ Douglas, haven’t you noticed the link to Hansard of April 09, 2013 ? – CT

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      This ”one-sided story”(response) is a reply to another ”one-sided story”(stimulus).

      Stimulus(news) appears on a day.
      Response(comment or reply to thenews) appears on a subsequent day.
      What is ”one-sided” about it please?

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    Going by the responses here so far it appears that Mr Sampanthan’s detailed and eloquent response to the fork-tongued G L Pieris’s shameless speech to parliament has upset a lot of apologists of the Rajapaksa regime.

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      Ha..ha!

      And Mr Sampanthan is not fork-tongued?

  • 0
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    “The position now is much worse than before the war came to an end”

    Baww, the senile old codger is still missing his old masters.

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      Siva Sankaran Sarma
      Please move on:

      ”The military continued to engage in activities that fall within the remit of a civil administration, including the authorisation of community meetings or events, and the registration of civilian families in many northern villages, whether they had been displaced or not. Female-headed households reported feeling particularly insecure as a result of military visits. ……. The military leadership continued to control the approval of humanitarian projects in the north through its membership in the Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province (PTF). The PTF places particular restrictions on the provision of mental health care and psycho-social activities. Because of government restrictions, no comprehensive assessment has been conducted in conflict-affected areas, and there is no comprehensive data on the needs of the most vulnerable groups. No IDP profiling has been done since 2007. The government, UNHCR and the UN Office for Project Services launched a survey of protracted IDPs in 2011, but the project was abandoned in December 2012 due to obstacles placed on it by the PTF” – Global Overview 2012: People internally displaced by conflict and violence, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre

      ”Conflict-affected areas remain highly militarised, which has made progress towards achieving durable solutions more difficult. The military has become an important economic player and a key competitor of local people including returnees in the areas of agriculture, fishing, trade, and tourism. It has also been involved in areas that would normally come under civilian administration. It continues to occupy private land, thereby impeding IDPs’ return. The government has failed to make durable solutions a priority, and humanitarian organisations have faced funding shortages and restrictions on programming and access” – Sri Lanka: A hidden displacement crisis, *Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 31 October 2012

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        Yes Eureka, that does sound much worse than the situation before the war ended. I’m sure you’d rather get robbed by the LTTE or get shot for refusing to let them hide under your skirt, than be inconvenienced by the government and military :-)

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    CT: Thank you. I missed it. Better if that was also published. Thank you aagain.

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    Mr.R. Sampanthan,
    It’s Home Truth finally , isn’t it ? You guys went all over the world, Delhi, Washington, Geneva, etc,& did everything under the sun against Sri Lanka & got resolution after resolution passed against Sri Lanka but nothing happened. Now you guys appeal to GOSL, pl. do this ,that , Why ? & why now? because your all powerful UN/US/EU/India could not deliver any damn thing?
    Some anti-lankan INGO funded jokers said / wrote that US/West/UN would even invade Sri Lanka ,to get damn justice to Eelam Tamils or /& put this damn HR ,that,this record right, but nothing happened. Dogs Barking Caravans Passing; not more than that.
    You guys should only work with GOSL, no point in trying to get foreign powers to dictate terms to Sri Lanka , if they can, they could have stopped the war & decimation of LTTE mass murderers with their blood sucking vulture V.Prabha. that never happened. Those foreign powers use you guys for their own interests & throw out like used condom, India/West did that with LTTE.
    Leave your damn demand for 33 % land mass & 66 % territorial waters of this country for Ceylon Tamils who make only 12 % of country’s population & be genuine patriots of Lanka land & make inroads in to Sinhala / Buddhist society, then only you will get what you want. Need any example ? Follow steps of Saumayamoorthi Thondaman.

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      This is the most important comment out of all these.

      TNA went all over the world and IC to pass resolution after resolution.

      None worked.

      Now, TNA is asking the parliament and the people.

      what a bunch of animals.

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      John the half suddha,

      Navi Pillay is visiting Sri Lanka in August to see if GOSL is doing everything as promised.

      At one point in time the LTTE became very stubburn and stopped listening to others. That is the only reason why most countries around the world (including the West and India) banned them and helped GOSL to get rid of them (they did not stop the war). However, it is not the same with TNA and the Tamils. If the GOSL do not keep up their promise, all powerful UN/US/EU/India will definetely interfere. Here, Sampanthan is only reminding the GOSL the Tamil position. As Tamil politicans, TNA going all over the world and explaining the current situation is not enough, they should also make such noises (appeals, etc), it is a must for politicians.

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    Laying a long list of failures and broken pledges against what goes as the Rajapakse familial rule, senior Parliamentarian and equally senior lawyer Hon. R. Sampanthan, MP deals the Coup de Grace “That is your history…” He is not alone – India, the UN, E/U, UK, USA and others have a list of dishonoured commitments. What a record for the country? But the thick-skinned regime cares too hoots. What is world opinion, after all, is their considered position. As Sri Lankans we feel deeply ashamed this should happen to a nation that was always respected by the entire world. For how long must we tolerate this shared indignity on our self-respect.

    Senguttuvan

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      And to nothing stands your stance in your undecipherable garbled message.

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    Who has the time to read such long articles. The government has the responsibility to her citizens to prevent any civil wars in future. The LTTE civil war costed billions of rupees and many lives of civilians and security personnel.

    By giving 13th amendment in full is detrimental to remain Sri Lanka as a unitary state. Hence rewriting the 13th amendment is a must to prevent such forces to re-emerge.

    Tamils need to think differently, before they ask government to do so. If TNA and other Tamil parties behave/think like LTTEs nothing can be achieved. But Tamils know how to bargain through international community.

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      LTTE died but not without leaving behind TNA.

      Its the same things we heard from Tamil Chelvam we now hear from Sambanthan.

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    A kind appeal to Tamil National Alliance to drop Tamil only demands and include everyone. Stop claiming Tamil homelands as Sinhalese and Muslims don’t do so. Stop talking about Tamil grievances and Tamil aspirations only because Sinhalese and Muslims don’t do so.

    This problem has an inclusive solution, not a Tamil only solution.

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    For those who are trying to achieve Nibbana, patience has no limits. Yet when it come to governance of a country there is a limit. When RS MP was towing the line of LTTE, the government had to be patient with him because he was doing so under the Sword of Damocles. Now that the government has freed him,he can speak of unified Sri Lanka and unified nation.

    I think RS, as the leader of a recognized political party, understands very well the challenges in governing a country. Yet it is sad to note that he is speaking of the Tamil Ealam as the country. And he is doing this in the parliament of the country, which he also acknowledges as a unitary state. This is double talk.

    RS must understand that there is no political problem in regard to governing Sri Lanka. There are problems of poverty, health, education and unequal distribution of wealth. There is political problem in his political alliance and also in his political party. Knowing jolly well that the 13 A failed to solve the problem of terrorism and also the problems of people of Sri Lanka, he must start talking about a mechanism to identify the spatial distribution pattern of poverty in Sri Lanka and a mechanism for decision making to address effectively the eradication of poverty in the first place. Then we can regard him as a true son of the soil. At present he is not because he is possessed by the devils who want to see a Sri Lanka torn into parts.

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    Most of the commentators are used to insane spurts. When a sane speech come on, they are dislocated.

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    Its a puzzle of nuzzle.

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    As the current Tamil Leader he is expected to speak out – in support of
    Tamils in SL and has done this very well & not on a political platform.
    The future of the Country is what matters and not the past history? He
    is taking a logical stand vis-a-vis the IC who are forced into involvement by SL States undemocratic activities.

    Does one expect KP or Karuna to make these statements nowadays?

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      Punchinilame,

      Karuna has forgotten the past. He now eats, drinks, sings and screws at state expense. If invited he will come to your parties but make sure that pretty Punchimenikes are not present. If they are he will perform a work of “live art” depicting what national integration means.

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        The Professional

        “depicting what national integration means.”

        Sorry, I am bit thick.

        Is it national integration or penetration for the sake of one nation?

        More sex more peace.

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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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    This IATK leader wts in leafy ho was a proxy of Prabakaran,took cue from Opposition leader to make this demand for police powers and land rights to make the North an exclusive enclave.to Colombo
    ls
    He was quite happy to be protected by our Srilankan Police for thirty years in his conmfortable abode in Colombo.

    Why does he need this TNA Police now?.

    Is he going to bring an escort from his PC when he visits Colombo?.

    What about his loyal subjects in leafy suburbs of the Capital?.

    Will they be comfortable with Mervyn Silva Police Force ih he becomes the CM of the WP?.

    The easiest solution to Mr ambandan’s demand is for his new mate and political ally ,the Opposition Leader Mr Wicks to make a spally that the Gaeech in Parliament, stating categorically that the Rajapksa Regime should grant his wishes and give him his TNA pr IA

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      Sumane – correct me if I am wrong. When the Rajapakses assured India and the world with such gusto, they are of the stuff gentlemen are made of they will implement 13++ But whereas shorn off Police and Land Powers,the NPC will remain a virtual empty shell. Where is honour and the integrity of not merely the spoken word – but that of written pledges also, my friend. To many of us, finding some loophole in giving the Tamils what is their long due this regime is creating conditions of a further period of total chaos and disorder.

      Senguttuvan

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        Mr Sengutuan,

        Most sensible, peace loving and caring people like us thought, Sambandan, Premachandra and Sumanathiran only wanted the Tamil captives in the North to live normal, peaceful and prosperous lives, as their Tamil brethren and themselves do in the South and Colombo in particular.

        There was no B. T. Emmanuel and PM Rudra showing us their new Eeaal Map in British Parliament house either.

        Wouldn’t it be insane to implement even just Thirteen??

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        Senguts ,dont bother with Sumanasekera (Leela) as he will only write what his bosses say

        Leela (Sumansekera) is a man with a big record if you know what i mean (Lee Potter Scandal in Kandy )

        so dont expect any good answer from him

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          Peace Lover

          We know by definition his boss is a very stupid person.

          Is he that stupid to employ K.A Sumanasekera?

          I don’t think so, do you?

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        Surely, dear Mr. Sumanasekera, we are discussing here Police and Land Powers in the North and the NEP. The South and Colombo does not come into the equation. Are you subtly trying, for your masters that is, to draw a red herring to avoid an irrefutable situation.

        As to “normal, peaceful and prosperous lives to Tamils in the South” in which planet in the galaxy do you now live, my friend? This is even denied to the Sinhalese like you for years now – forget the .. Damilas. Thanks to the Rajapakse regime “normal, peaceful and prosperous lives” for the rest of the people is a thing of the past. As to The Family and their army of servile sycophants Dickens put it best – “it is the best of times” for them and their boot-lickers.

        Senguttuvan

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    Why the bad blood………….
    Lets have another round once and for all……..

    Its just one more time or else this rhetoric will never end.

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      Can we ( people from TN) all join the round this time?

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    So, this bickering is by TNA and Ranil Wickramasinghe to get Mahinda Rajapakse running around in circles.

    Anyway, it is the Tamils who are being exploited.

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    Former terrorist mouth peace talking crap

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      kris

      “Former terrorist mouth peace talking crap”

      Peace talking crap???

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