The Tamil National Alliance has today condemned the statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Issuing a statement the TNA said; “The Tamil National Alliance reiterates firmly its denial of any involvement with the individuals referred to in the said statement pertaining to the investigation being conducted by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Tamil National Alliance specifically states that it has nothing whatever to do with the said individuals pertaining to the said investigation or otherwise. It is ludicrous that the Government in support of such purported involvement seeks to rely allegedly upon photographs taken at public functions on public occasions.
“The statement of the Ministry of External Affairs is indicative of the depth of the desperation to which the establishment has sunk.
“Reference to the following few events would demonstrate the extent of the Sri Lankan Government’s commitment to the protection of Human Rights.
- The withdrawal from their Mandate of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons comprising of eleven reputed intellectuals and Human Rights activists from different parts of the world, granted to them to assist and guide the domestic Udalagama Commission appointed to investigate and report on certain grave violations of Human Rights, stating clearly at their final press conference that the Sri Lankan Government did not have the political will or commitment to investigate grave Human Rights violations in keeping with international norms and standards.
- The non publication of the report of the Udalagama Commission up to date though several years have lapsed since the submission of that report clearly establishing the lack of will on the part of the Sri Lankan Government to be transparent and make available to the public true and vital information.
- Failure to reveal the true status of the cases pertaining to the massacre of the five students of Trincomalee, and the seventeen aid workers at Muttur in Trincomalee, despite numerous commitments made to the International Community and though more than eight years have elapsed since the said crimes were committed.
- Failure to enact a Witness and Victim Protection Bill over the past seven years despite the several commitments made to the International Community in this regard, clearly indicating lack of an interest on the part of the Sri Lankan Government to provide protection to witnesses and victims who testify in judicial processes in regard to offences committed.
- Failure to conduct a single impartial independent investigation into several grave violations pertaining to its own citizens other than disappearances, evidence of which grave violations has been in the public domain for a considerable period of time.
“The Sri Lankan Government by denying access to international investigations to visit Sri Lanka and conduct an impartial independent investigation is violating its own obligations under conventions and treaties it has voluntarily signed and accepted and is now adding insult to injury by casting aspersions on the international investigation. If the international investigators were able to visit Sri Lanka witnesses would have been able to freely go and testify at such investigations. There would have been no need for anything as is being alleged by the Ministry of External Affairs to happen. It is also known that the Sri Lankan Government through persons in authority have issued public statements warning prospective witnesses that if they testified before or assisted the investigation in any way, they would be violating the Constitution and laws of the country and that they would be prosecuted. This was clearly intended to intimidate witnesses.
“This is indicative of extreme confusion on the part of those entrusted with the responsibility of conducting vital affairs on behalf of Sri Lanka, and protecting the larger interests of Sri Lanka.
“The Tamil National Alliance would in the larger interests of Sri Lanka urge the Sri Lankan Government, rather than engage in cheap political games, to conduct itself with a greater sense of responsibility.”