Sri Lanka’s Tamil party welcomes resolution at UN

Colombo, Sep 25 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s main opposition on Friday welcomed the draft text of a resolution on Sri Lanka tabled by the co-sponsors at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), also the main Tamil political party in the country, said that resolution constituted a significant victory for justice in Sri Lanka.

The resolution, which was tabled in Geneva on Thursday, backs a domestic process with foreign assistance to investigate and prosecute those accused of human rights abuses during the war between the military and the Tamil Tigers that ended in 2009.

“In particular, we welcome the draft resolution’s call on Sri Lanka to involve foreign and Commonwealth judges, lawyers, investigators and defenders in a judicial mechanism to be set up in Sri Lanka that would be mandated to try international crimes,” the TNA said.

The TNA said it was committed to helping the government and international stakeholders evolve such a court, and will support its work.

“We also wish to note our appreciation of the government’s assent to this text and its willingness to co-sponsor it in the Human Rights Council,” it said.

“A court established on these lines would represent a dramatic break from the past and could herald the beginning of an end to impunity,” it said.

The TNA, however, noted that it was acutely aware that some of the language used in the interests of a consensus will not satisfy all victims of the conflict.

The TNA said it was of the view that the draft provides a constructive starting point for what will inevitably be a long road to reconciliation.

Thousands of people, mainly innocent Tamils, were killed during the end stages of the armed conflict that led to the crushing defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

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