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Saturday, June 22, 2024

LLRC Report: President meets editors

If it came to parliament more than a month after the Commission led by President’s Counsel and former Attorney General, C.R. de Silva, handed over the report to President Rajapaksa, the situation has been further confounded. More than two weeks after the report was tabled in Parliament, thus bringing it into the public domain, there appears to be no strategy on the part of the External Affairs Ministry (EAM) to launch a diplomatic campaign overseas to stem any adverse fallout.
The only exception has been the air freighting of copies of the report to various Sri Lanka diplomatic missions abroad. Other than that, the EAM seems blissfully unaware that the international community is girding itself to raise issue at different forums. One such case is the March 2012 sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The Sunday Times has learnt that some western nations will move a strongly-worded resolution at this event in Geneva. Diplomatic consultations for such an exercise are now under way and leading Asian nations, reportedly disillusioned about some aspects in the report, have also been approached.

Rajapaksa was asked at his regular breakfast meeting with editors last Tuesday: Is there are response on the LLRC report?

President – The government has given its response in Parliament.
President: All parties including the TNA should take the responsibility. (The response came when asked about the LLRC recommendation that all parties should tender an apology to the people of Sri Lanka)
Q: There was an article recently by a professor who had given estimates about the casualties in the war. Why hasn’t this been given further publicity because it is a figure coming from within the Tamil community?
President – The views among some of the Tamils are different. They are blaming the LTTE for what happened. For instance a parent, during a discussion said how his two sons had been abducted by the LTTE. When someone stood up and tried to say something he shouted him down saying ‘didn’t you get your appointment from Prabhakaran?’ What I am appealing for is not to raise communal feelings. The Tamil Media should be blamed for this.
Q: What is the position regarding government-TNA talks?
President – There is no use talking to us, we should move to the stage of appointing the Parliamentary Select Committee. They are doing what the LTTE did. There is a limit for tolerance.
Dr. Peiris: It is only the TNA which has called for an international investigation after rejecting the LLRC report. This will give the opportunity for foreign forces to enter the country.
Q: Whom do you think is behind such moves?
President – It is the LTTE sympathisers.
Q: The TNA has been asking for Police powers.
President – We know how the police powers are implemented in India. During the Mumbai attack it took two hours to contact the Chief Minister to get down the Police from New Delhi. Sonia (Gandhi) was not allowed to go. If police powers are given I will not be able to go to my village sometimes. Journalists will complain to me that they have been assaulted because they wrote something about a Chief Minister. There are good reasons not to give police powers. Already 750 Tamils have been recruited to the Police. In the past they did not allow the Tamils to join the police.”
An indication of how the United States government might react emerged this week during the daily briefing at the Department of State. Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, “While we’re still studying the full report, I do have to say that we have concerns that the report, nonetheless, does not fully address all the allegations of serious human rights violations that occurred in the final phase of the conflict. So this leaves questions about accountability and – for those allegations, and so we urge the Sri Lankan Government not only to fulfil all of the recommendations of the report as it stands, but also to address those issues that the report did not cover.”
form ST political column


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