LTTE claim of HRC workshop
for its judges
by Bandula Jayasekara
The claim the LTTE is flaunting that the UNHCR and the Human Rights Commission have organised a workshop for Eelam judges has drawn fire from the two institutions concerned.
Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, Radhika Coomaraswamy denied the claim reported by a government-controlled publication that the Human Rights Commission had organised any workshop for the Tamil Eelam judiciary.
The report in question said that in a path breaking move the Human Rights Commission was conducting a three -day workshop on international human right law for judges of Tamil Eelam judiciary in Kilinochchi.
Coomraswamy told The Island, " I was taken by the news item. It was organized by the UNHCR under their umbrella and we had nothing to do with it. All what we did was to provide two resource personnel."
The Chairperson added, " I have asked the UNHCR to clarify the position of the Human Rights Commission and you will do us a favour if you would clarify our position."
When questioned how the UNHCR could sponsor workshops for the so-called LTTEs Eelam judiciary, Head of UNHCR in Colombo, Neil Wright said that the workshop was not conducted for the LTTE but it was attended by some members of their judiciary. Wright said, " However, we are happy that they attended and learnt about international humanitarian law. It is in our mandate to educate people about the international humanitarian law in any conflict situation."
Asked if the UNHCR had recognized through their action a state of Eelam, Wright said " Categorically No! This does not mean any sort of recognition. What we do is to protect civilians and the LTTE came and attended the workshop."
The government newspaper report also said that S. Pararajasingham, Chief Executive of the Tamil Eelam inaugurated the workshop on Friday and pledged the co-operation and the support of the LTTE in maintaining human rights.
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