Making an urgent appeal, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Monday has urged the UN to intervene in securing the immediate release of a 58-year old Tamil man, who was arrested in Kilinochchi by Sri Lanka’s anti-terrorism police for allegedly distributing forms meant to be circulated among the witnesses of the ongoing war crime probe by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The Terrorists Investigation Department (TID) personnel on Saturday arrested Sinnathamby Krishnarajah at Mulankavil in Kilinochchi alleging that he was distributing UNHRC witness forms. The father-of-six has now been brought to the TID headquarters in Colombo for further interrogation.
“Sinnathamby Krishnarajah from Sivapuram, Iranchi in Kilinochchi is badly affected by the brutal war. One of his young daughters was killed due to shelling during the final phase of the war, thus becoming potential witness to the ongoing UN inquiry. The TID has arrested him for allegedly carrying witness forms of the OHCHR. The UNHRC should intervene immediately to ensure his safety and security and get him released,” TNA spokesman and Jaffna District Parliamentarian Suresh K. Premachandran has said.
“Is it a crime for a potential war crime witness to be in possession of UN forms and documents? Therefore, it is the bounden duty of the UNHRC and the UN affiliated to protect its witnesses wherever they are, and in this case Sinnathamby Krishnarajah from Kilinochchi,” he has said.
“At a time when the war-victims are invited to give affidavits before Presidential Commissions of Inquiry why were they being targeted, intimidated and arrested when doing the same with the UNHRC, which is a powerful international body,” MP Premachchandran has queried.
He said that the TNA has already made an appeal to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has not only refused to cooperate with the OHCHR inquiry, but has threatened to take action against those cooperating with the investigation, for the immediate release of Sinnathamby Krishnarajah.