The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is miffed with the government’s latest time buying tactic in its attempt to further postpone the war crimes probe, sources said.
During several forums, the TNA MPs, including its leader R. Sampanthan had expressed both disappointment and annoyance following the government’s recent declaration that it will seek more time from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to probe war crimes.
The TNA which has from time to time both directly and indirectly supported the Yahapalanaya government, has also been ‘upset’ by a recent statement made by former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga that a war crimes probe was not necessary. Kumaratunga, is the head of the Office for the National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR).
Meanwhile, Sampanthan who is also the leader of the opposition in parliament, has accused the government of trying to evade its responsibilities by buying time from the UNHRC. He had also reportedly said that if the Sri Lankan government seeks for more time at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva this month, then the UN must monitor and scrutinize the government’s activities ‘more closely’ to ensure they are genuinely working towards fulfilling its pledge, or was looking at ways of stalling the probe.
Last week, foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera said that he will seek for more time from the UNHRC session this month, to probe war crime charges. He had assured that this government will not go back on its pledge, but instead needed more time to set up the judicial mechanisms, to probe war crimes committed during the final stages of the war between the military and the LTTE. The 34th UNHRC sessions will commence on February 27 in Geneva.
Just before Samaraweera’s statement, ex-President Kumaratunga who is also a very close associate of incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena ruled out the involvement of courts to probe war crimes. Kumaratunga, said that as steps have been taken to create a Constitution and to establish the Office of the Missing Persons, there won’t be a necessity to have courts to probe war crimes, thereby going back on an original pledge by the government that it will probe war crimes, in an effort to bring in holistic reconciliation.