12 December, 2017

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We Won’t Appear Before Presidential Commission On Missing Persons: TCSF

The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) and the Welfare Organisation for the Forcibly Disappeared Persons on the 24th of February 2015 in Jaffna have jointly decided not to appear and give evidence before the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons.

Issuing a statement today the TCSF says; “This decision comes in the wake of the Commission’s sittings in Trincomalee scheduled to be held between the 28th of February and 3th of March 2015.” According to the TCCF, they have taken this decision for the following reasons:

  1. TCSF Convener - Bishop of Mannar, Dr. Rayappu Joseph

    TCSF Convener – Bishop of Mannar, Dr. Rayappu Joseph

    The relatives of those who have been forcibly disappeared are tired of going before various mechanisms set up by the Government of Sri Lanka from time to time. No results whatsoever have been forthcoming from such inquiries. Many questions have been raised about the terms of reference and capacity of this commission to act on the issue of enforced disappearances. Concerns have been raised previously about the Government’s initiative to issue death certificates for enforced disappearances in parallel to the work of this commission. The line of questioning adopted by the commissioners in past hearings also indicates that the commission is primarily interested in inquiring into the socio-economic support provided to relatives of those forcibly disappeared as opposed to tracing the whereabouts of those who have been made to disappear. The role of the international experts has also not been made clear. Recent reports suggest that one of the international experts so appointed was also hired by the then Sri Lankan Government to advice them on how to handle international community pressure on human rights issues, clearly pointing to a conflict of interest in his appointment as an expert. So far the commission or the Government have not responded adequately to any of these issues.

  1. The expansion of the mandate of the commission in July 2014 on an ad hoc basis giving the commission mandate to investigate other issues other than enforced disappearances doesn’t inspire confidence in the commission. It is indeed our position that all aspects of violations committed during and after the war have to be investigated but this cannot be done haphazardly. The piece-meal expansion of your mandate points to the lack of seriousness of your commission’s work and to its politicization.
  1. The Government of Sri Lanka that took office on the 9th of January 2015 has been campaigning internationally that they will set up a credible domestic mechanism in response to the UN Human Rights Council mandated inquiry into Sri Lanka (OISL). They have sought and received a postponement of the OISl report primarily on this promise of setting up a domestic credible mechanism. However the present Government also seems to continue with the approach adopted by the previous regime towards truth, justice and accountability of which your commission’s continuance is a prominent example. Your commission continues to function under the new government without rectifying any of the concerns raised by civil society activists and those affected.

“We cannot afford to continue to appear before this commission giving it a stamp of legitimacy. We seek a credible inquiry and we are convinced that this can only be made possible through international means.” the TCSF further said.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    17

    A surefire way to shred any ounce of legitimacy a project has is for statue thief kasippu Joseph and his posse to associate themselves with it. The government should be thanking him for deciding not to stink up this commission with his presence :D

    • 4
      3

      TCSF Convener – Bishop of Mannar, Dr. Rayappu Joseph
      [Edited out]

    • 7
      3

      Wee Thamihz senior journalist Siva Sankaran Sarma D:

      ” The government should be thanking him for deciding not to stink up this commission with his presence :D “

      Having studied your concerns carefully I believe you desperately want to bring back fleet of white vans into active service? Not a bad idea. Only the wee Thamihz senior journalist is capable of thinking anew.

      Keep up your good work. We are right behind you.

    • 0
      0

      THE DECISION OF THE TCSF NOT TO APPEAR BEFORE THE COMMISION IS COMMENDABLE. THE APPONTEES TO THIS COMMISSION ARE THE PERPETRATORS WHO COMMITTED GRAVE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.OVER 75,000 INNOCENT TAMIL CIVILIANS HAVE BEEN BOMBARDED AND BRUTALLY KILLED BY THE PREVIOUS MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE GOVT. USING HEAVY WEAPONS INCLUDING CHEMICAL AND CLUSTER BOMBS.

      I COMMEND REV. BISHOP RAYAPPU JOSEPH OF THIS DECISION.

  • 8
    5

    TCSF Convener – Bishop of Mannar, Dr. Rayappu Joseph

    “The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) and the Welfare Organisation for the Forcibly Disappeared Persons on the 24th of February 2015 in Jaffna have jointly decided not to appear and give evidence before the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons.”

    “The relatives of those who have been forcibly disappeared are tired of going before various mechanisms set up by the Government of Sri Lanka from time to time. No results “

    So, you wan’t to use your Mootal Sense, instead of the Common Sense, used by the people on January 8, 2015 to elect Mr. Matripals Sirisena?

    Do you know what happened to all those Mootals,,who helped elect Mr. Haninda Rajapaksa, your Maveeran’s buddy Mr. ?

    What about All those who disappeared thanks to Maveeran, in addition to those courtesy of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, you are currently concerned with? Aren’t they people too?

    No Double Standards, please.

  • 8
    5

    Credible people walk the talk and their actions are consistent with the principles and policies they follow. Bishop Joseph seems to be clinging on to the past and wants to shut the future with a series of amicable opportunities in moving forward. The International inquire has offered one last opportunity to put the entire issue to bed with a willing party to resolve it quickly and implement it. What Bishop has to understand is that if an international inquiry happens, What’s next? it is a long drawn out process with no end in sight given the circumstances. Any politically matured person would fore see this. Srilankan government has to be accountable for the finding and a reconciliation mechanism that is accepted by a vast majority on both sides.
    What i would say about the present approach of Bishop Joseph is that he is taking all his followers to Timbaktu. If anyone believes this is not the case, they should ask Bishop Joseph what next after International inquiry.

    • 5
      4

      If people gave up just because things are difficult Nazi collaborators would be living luxurious lives around the world with the stolen wealth of the Jews and with no accountability for their actions.

      The bishop is standing up for what is right not for what is easy or simple. He could have chosen the easy way out like Cardinal Ranjith may be he too might have got foreign postings for his niece or nephew.

      • 5
        4

        @Nazi collaborators.. Really Know your history.. The Allies Used EX-Nazi’s to run the German State after WW2 in fear of communism, ANd Who do you think helped the USA to send rockets to the Moon?? Drinking coke and eating Bugers in Texas??

        Still We have this Nazi style Bishop the wold in sheeps clothing full of Blood, who measures justice with very different yard sticks. When it came to LTTE crimes who told the world about the Power of prayer and forgiveness.

      • 5
        2

        His nephews & Nieces gets postings from within the Catholic church & receive their daily bread from the collections of the poor.

        Bishop did not save those 300,000 when he could have. Instead Bishop & Emmanuel betrayed their Master and were sacrificing those lives held to obtain a piece of land called Eelam at the expense of our youth & children and bringing misery to the parents.

        We do not want anything. Leave us alone. provide us good education, fishing equipment, agrcultural land and medical. We can take care of ourselves.

  • 14
    5

    The reasons given by the Rev. Bishop are valid and there have been many inquiries and commissions with no results. Doing the same thing over and over are not going to produce different results therefore I agree the people should not me made to relive the same nightmare over and over again by appearing in front of a worthless commission.

    • 5
      4

      burt

      “therefore I agree the people should not me made to relive the same nightmare over and over again by appearing in front of a worthless commission. ‘

      What is the alternative?

      Go fishing, Farm or start Eelam War Phase B? Too fewer Moolas முட்டாள்
      left.

  • 7
    10

    RJ knows it all. Another sure way to stoke the flames of hatred of defeated Tamil Terrorists and their support base. All for the Terrorists but nothing for families victimised by Tamil Terrorists. The mindset of the Christian Tamil Terrorism on display.

  • 10
    3

    The government should publish the reports of numerous previous commissions that were suppressed to show the tamil people that they are genuine in their attempts to investigate and punish the guilty.

    I don’t blame the TCSF for not wanting to participate in a futile exercise. The Presidential commission is purely a devious and deflecting exercise in preventing the UNHRC report being made public that the government very well knows Will reveal the complicity in war crimes of the Rajapaksa regime and the SL military.

    It is a shame that the report was not ready to be published when Rajapaksa was in power.

    • 5
      3

      “Justice minister Wijedasa Rajapakse – In UK

      The government is prepared to conduct a local investigation, the objective of which is not to mete out punishment, but to find the truth and to promote reconciliation, the minister has said.”

      This shows this government has no intention of punishing criminals or holding anyone accountable for their actions.

      • 0
        4

        The BIG criminals paid the ultimate price on the Nandikadal. The little ones were rehabilitated and forgiven.

        • 3
          0

          Ramuuuuuuuu

          “The little ones were rehabilitated and forgiven.”

          The very big criminal is hiding behind his women folks.

  • 5
    6

    Farther Joseph,
    Another person disappointed by defeat of LTTE terrorist now playing innocent card trying to prevent Tamil people from moving forward. What you should no is there is no more division of country with the help of Western powers.

  • 4
    3

    Very vital and legitimate concerns are raised by the Bishop. Except the LLRC report that, too, was inadequately addressed all the other reports of other commissions have been shelved without seeing the light. The witnesses who have lost their loved ones because of the criminal acts of the ousted family especially the youngest sibling have demonstrated, protested and appeared and humiliated by thugs and members of the previous commissions. Your decision to boycott is understandable and appropriate. The new government ma be genuine in finding the truth about alleged war crimes and corruptions but the racist elements of the previous regime are hell bent on raising communal feelings in order to resuscitate the politically demised fraudulent family and their crooks.

  • 5
    6

    Good. In fact don’t appear anywhere. Crawl back to the dark hole you belong to and never show up again, Bi-shop, bye, bye, good bye!

  • 3
    5

    So is the UNHRC, only go after small fry in order to intimidate. When it comes to big powers who are the worst in war crimes, silence. Hypocrites are what the Tamils want as judge and jury.

  • 3
    4

    The TCSF makes an extremely valid point in that successive commissions have delivered nothing so far. However the majority of Tamils in Sri Lanka voted for MS to bring in change, so should TCSF then refuse to help make that change possible?

    • 7
      1

      Eleven commissions have been appointed by the Sri Lankan government over the past thirty‐ five years to investigate human rights violations. These commissions possessed similar mandates which have not materially changed over the last thirty five years. The mandate of each of the commission was to inquire into the following:

      ‐whether there were human rights violations and the reasons for such violations;
      ‐whether anyone or a group of persons was responsible;
      ‐whether those responsible for the violations need to be punished;
      ‐whether the victims need to be compensated; and
      ‐whether any changes have to be made in the government, especially whether institutional, administrative, and legislative measures are necessary to prevent the recurrence of such violations.

      These noble reasons promulgated in the mandate did not turn out to produce effective solutions to those affected by human rights violations in Sri Lanka because there was no political will to provide redress to the victims. The following paragraphs summarize the detailed analysis of the various commissions in the report.

      ‐The Sansoni Commission failed because the Commissioner was unable to perform his duties due to political pressure from the government. Although Mr. Sansoni was the former Chief Justice of the Sri Lanka Supreme Court, he failed to exercise his independence in submitting his conclusions. Another issue that arose during the hearing was the dual role played by the Attorney General’s Office, which both defended and investigated the government entity.

      ‐The Kokkaddicholai Commission which inquired into the killings of fifty‐seven civilians by the army did not recommend any prosecution against the seventeen soldiers guilty of murder, rape, and arson. Contrary to international standards, the Commission recommended that the seventeen soldiers be tried under military law even though the killings were extrajudicial.

      ‐The Presidential Truth Commission was appointed in 2001, nearly two decades after the events of interest took place. By the time the Presidential Truth Commission was formed, many witnesses were either dead or had moved to foreign countries as refugees. Thus, the appointment of the Commission was futile.

      ‐The 2006 Presidential Commission of Inquiry folded because the mandate was not extended, and several Commissioners resigned. The IIGEP unilaterally suspended its mission citing the dual role of the Attorney General, inadequate witness protection measures, and inadequate funding for the Commission.

      ‐The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission of 2010, which has no mandate to look into human rights violations, which cannot recommend prosecution against those who committed human rights violations, and which cannot provide witness protection to those making complaints, is already a failed Commission.

      The latest Human Rights Report published by the United States State Departmentxxxiii has identified several issues in relation to Sri Lanka: “the government and its agents are 31 | P a g e
      responsible for human rights violations; security forces continue to commit extrajudicial killings and kidnap citizens; the minority community continues to live in fear; the security forces continue to torture and abuse the detainees.” The list goes on. In such a situation, will a commission such as LLRC, whose members are past government employees, inquire into human rights violations? Citizens are arbitrarily arrested, and neither the civilian nor the military courts have convicted any police or military personnel for human rights violations. Will a commission such as the LLRC recommend that military personnel be punished for human rights violations? In the unlikely event the commission recommends prosecution of military personnel, will the Attorney General prosecute them, and will the court pass an impartial judgment because the Executive continues to influence the judiciary?

      Therefore, an International Investigation by unbiased experts of human rights is essential to find out the truth of what happened during the last days of the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government where more than 40,000 Tamil civilians perished during the latter stages of the civil war in 2009. These experts should also be given the authority to recommend prosecution of any alleged violators of human rights irrespective of their positions with the Sri Lanka government. Those who have violated human rights shall also be brought to justice in front of the International Criminal Court to face charges.
      http://www.sangam.org/2011/04/Track_Record.pdf.crdownload

  • 6
    6

    rayappuwa joseph is a born racist and [Edited out]

    • 3
      1

      ela kolla

      “rayappuwa joseph is a born racist and [Edited out]”

      If you call Rev Rayappu a racist what do you call yourself? A secular angel?

      • 1
        0

        stupid vedda, are you yet another tamil biased mouth piece of puppet rayappuwa?

  • 4
    6

    raYAKKU joseph is the new face of tamil terrorism in SL.

    i don’t think appa SIRA is capable or having balls to deal with this mess

  • 2
    1

    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/

  • 6
    1

    The TCSF is highlighting important issues pertaining to truth and accountability. Although their specific reference point is the Tamil community, Sri Lankans in general, including the Sinhala community, have been the victims of the failure of successive governments to investigate gross violations of human rights, including forced disappearances.

    Therefore, it’s imperative that the new government is steadfast in instilling trust and confidence, by demonstrating transparency and accountability in investigating and addressing human rights violations.

    As far as the TCSF is concerned, would the failure to constructively engage yield its desired results?

  • 2
    6

    when one point at Gnanasara for racism and support for violence I dont see how he can support Rayappu Joseph

    • 5
      1

      such,

      I know it is difficult for you to see the difference. Rayappu Joseph is seeking justice whereas BBS leader spreads hatred and advocate violence against the minorities. It is not too difficult is it?

      • 3
        0

        Burning Issue

        The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the living to do so for them.

        Lois McMaster Bujold – writer

      • 0
        3

        When rayappu JOseph was supporting LTTE terrorism for 30 years, was he seeking justice then? He quite enjoyed when non tamils were at the receiving end.

  • 1
    4

    What the Bishop says I have little respect – here is why!

    He worship a human as God.

    I question his judgement.

    • 0
      4

      You should stick with with your rocks and trees.

  • 0
    1

    Of course, of course. The minute a government that might actually resolve the problems appears, you refuse to cooperate. God forbid the problems actually getting solved and people like Rayappu having to go back to being a bishop, and, yknow, doing his actual job.

    Even the most patient have a limit for shit like this. High time people like the TCSF was just ignored outright.

  • 2
    0

    This lack of trust is completely understandable considering the past experiences that the Tamil people have had. But can we not start over? If it is possible to correct the issues highlighted by the TCSF, I hope that they would reconsider working with the Government towards a solution in this matter.

  • 0
    3

    TCSF I don’t think you should put yourself into inconvenience by attending, because the masses would not care, your support to Prabahkaran’s massacres have not been forgotten, you shedding crocodile tears is a waste of everybody’s time. TCSF should be ignored for ever

  • 1
    1

    Does not matter if Bishop Joseph does not appear before The Commission as his views & stories are are as false as the SLA’s stories.What is interesting about both sides is that is no talk or very little mention about the LTTE’s actions regards to human rights violations.

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