TNA tells UN: Govt. action inhibits reconciliation

Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Rajavarothiam Sampanthan has told Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) Michele Coninsx that the actions of the government inhibit reconciliation They met in Colombo on Saturday.

"Non-commitment to the implementation of the UNHRC resolution and the resolutions passed in Sri Lankan Parliament to introduce a new Constitution shows that this government is working according to a different agenda," Sampanthan said.

Highlighting the importance of implementing the UNHRC resolution, the TNA leader said the government seemed to have forgotten the fact that it had co-sponsored those resolutions, and its actions rarely focused on the implementation of the resolution Sampanthan said.

"We are unhappy with this situation; this is not good for the country and certainly not good for the United Nations. If a government thinks that it can promise anything to the international community and completely ignore and do as per its own wish, such actions put the very fundamental purposes of the existence of institutions such as the United Nations into question."

Jaffna District Parliamentarian and TNA Spokesman MA Sumanthiran highlighted the history of the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). "Repealing this Act is one of the key promises this government made to the international community, but it has not been fulfilled. There is a draft Counter-Terrorism Act. We have certain concerns about that as well, but that draft is also not being discussed.

"Violence against the Tamils were unleashed in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and in 1980s. When we were asking for our rights we were assaulted and arrested. Violence was unleashed on the Tamil people well before the LTTE came into being. Sinhala leaders like SWRD Bandaranaike and Dudley Senanayake signed agreements with our leader SJV Chelvanayagam and they could not honour those pacts. These things happened well before the LTTE came into being. Had they honoured those agreements we wouldn’t have had a war in this country."

The TNA leader added that they didn’t want another war in the country as the Tamils had suffered immensely due to the war. The TNA also didn’t want any harm to befall the Sinhala people. "But sadly this country has been run by extreme elements and the Sinhala leaders are not willing to control them."

Sumanthiran brought to the notice of the Assistant Secretary General how the law was being applied differently to ethnic groups in this country and how systematically the Sinhala Buddhist extremists had been allowed by the law enforcement authorities to do as they wished.

Sampanthan said, "We want a political solution within the framework of a united undivided and indivisible country and if we do not get this then the Tamil people will be compelled to rethink their stance on their longstanding demands".

Sampanthan also urged the Assistant Secretary-General to urge the international community to play an effective and constructive role in holding the government accountable for its commitments.

Assistant Secretary-General assured that in her recommendations the concerns raised by the Tamil National Alliance Leaders would be included.

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