JVP now wants truth commission


By Sirimantha Ratnasekera

JVP yesterday called on the government to appoint a truth commission to find out what had really happened during the war.

JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, addressing a press conference, at the party headquarters in Pelawatte yesterday said that his party welcomed the government’s recent move to set up the Office of the Missing Persons.

Handunnetti said: "The Rajapaksa government’s theory was to empty the Treasury in the name of waging the war against the LTTE. That was why we said that the country had to be protected not only from terrorists but also from thieves.

"There has been a pressing need to look into the grievances of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people who lost their family members due to the war. They want to ascertain the truth with regard to their missing kith and kin. Thousands of people of both the military and the LTTE and civilians went missing during the war. The incumbent government is now planning to set up an office to find out the fate of the missing persons. That is a commendable job but it is not enough. We need a truth commission too."

The MP said that the JVP had lost their cadres and supporters during the 1987-89 period. "We had to make complaints to the Grama Niladharis, Divisional Secretariats, Army, Police, Red Cross, commissions set up by the governments but justice was never done. There was a need for an institution like the OMP. When the Bill was presented to Parliament, we studied its content. It was discussed by the Central Committee and thereafter we consulted our legal experts before making the decision to support the Bill with amendments."

The MP said that there had been several sections in the draft bill inimical to the national interest such as paving the way for foreign interventions and involvements and the JVP had been able to do away with them by proposing amendments.

"After the Bill was passed the Joint Opposition started clamouring that the OMP Bill was to hunt down the war heroes. Actually, the Bill was passed without debate because of irresponsible conduct of the JO. It was immoral for the JO to shout against the Bill. MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara presented two amendments to the bill on behalf of the JO and those amendments were incorporated into the bill. It is stupid of them to protest against the content of the Bill after making a contribution to it."

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