Calling upon the international community to establish a “mechanism for accountability” to bring to book the perpetrators of war crimes during the last stages of the Eelam War that ended in May 2009, the Tamil National Alliance on Monday said the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report “categorically fails to effectively and meaningfully deal with issues of accountability”.
Recalling that many Tamil civilians, direct victims of the war, deposed before the LLRC, TNA leader R.Sampanthan said “the findings of the LLRC offend the dignity of these victims”.
The TNA insisted that the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both the Tamil Tigers and the government forces needed to be fully investigated. The U.N. Panel of Experts which investigated the last stages of the war had concluded that the LTTE had deliberately targeted civilians and used them as human shields, among other violations. The allegations against the Sri Lanka government include deliberately underestimating civilian numbers in the Vanni in order to deprive them of food and medical supplies, deliberately or recklessly endangering the lives of civilians in No-Fire Zones, targeting civilian objects including hospitals, and executing or causing the disappearance of those who had surrendered.
“The LLRC concludes that, on these issues, the government is not responsible. Instead, it shifts blame onto individual soldiers and surmises that any violations that may have been committed were merely isolated incidents. For example, large numbers of disappearances that resulted from the surrender of unarmed persons to government forces have been cynically dismissed as isolated incidents perpetrated ‘by a few’. The LLRC unjustifiably rules out the possibility that these violations were systematic,” said Mr. Sampanthan.