Defence Sec. dismisses TNA claimsSeptember 20, 2012, 10:20 pm
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday that Tamil speaking people living in the Northern and Eastern Provinces were free now.
Tamil people appreciated the ongoing accelerated development programme in war devastated districts. The international community was appreciative of the post-war recovery process, the Defence Secretary said, alleging that despite all that an attempt was still being made to portray a bleak picture.
The international community should realize that those making unsubstantiated allegations against the GoSL today remained silent to Tiger atrocities as long as they felt the LTTE could achieve its military objectives, he said. The government welcomed senior representatives of the international community seeing the ground situation and raising contentious issues with relevant authorities. "We don’t have anything to hide. In fact, those alleging state sponsored colonization in the Northern and Eastern Provinces are mum on people driven out of their villages during the war by the LTTE," the Defence Secretary said. They were also silent about large number of Tamils from a North and East freely settling down in a South, he said.
Rajapaksa recalled how the LTTE detained even local UN staff and prevented their families from seeking refuge during the Vanni offensive. The official expressed confidence that the international community would examine the post-war situation.
The Defence Secretary was responding to a spate of allegations made by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at a meeting it had with a visiting UN delegation.
A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance met Hanny Megally, Chief, Asia, Pacific,
Middle East and North Africa Branch, Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division of
the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and his team of officials
at the office of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations. UN Resident Coordinator
Subinay Nandy was also present. The TNA delegation comprised R Sampanthan, Mavai Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran, Selvam Adaikalanathan, P Selvarajah and M A Sumanthiran, Members of Parliament.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the TNA said: "Amongst the matters discussed were land issues relating to security zones, particularly Valikamam and Sampur where the displaced people have not been able to resettle, their lands being taken over for military purposes, lands being taken over ostensibly for development purposes and on which, persons of the majority community are being settled, cultural and religious places being denied to the Tamil people, issues relating to demilitarization, disappearances, detenues, changes in the demographic composition in the North and the East, accountability and the evolution of an acceptable political solution. The question of whether the Sri Lankan government is unequivocally committed to the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC and the resolution adopted by the UNHRC at its sessions in March 2012 were also discussed."
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