Writer and Journalist living in Canada since 1987. Tamil activist
Mullaiyuran is talking or rather writing rubbish. Sumanthiran never sought a ministerial post from the UNP or anyone else. There is a long standing policy by ITAK not to accept any portfolio till a satisfactory solution to the ethnic problem is found. It is unfair to claim that this government has not done nothing. A third of the land has been released in the North. In Sampur in the East 237 acres of land has been released to the owners after this government came to power. The previous government has taken over and gave this land on a 99 years lease to a company called Gateway Industries to establish an economic zone.
In Vali North out of 6,381.5 acres of land close to 2,000 have been released to owners. Small patches of land elsewhere have also been released. Last month the Navy released 54 acres of land and the harbour at Myliddy
Out of a total of 217 prisoners as at end of January 08, 2017 eighty-five prisoners have been released. As for PTA the government has give a pledge to the UNHRC to replace it with a law in keeping with international standards. The government brought a bill, but due to opposition from the TNA it has been withdrawn. Sri Lanka’s Parliament has enacted legislation to establish a Permanent Office on Missing Persons; its operationalisation is still awaited.
It is true the government has not reduced the presence of the army in the North despite pressure from the TNA and others. The investigation against human rights violations is ongoing, but there is much to be done. Former Navy Spokesman Commodore D.K.P Dassanayake and 4 others have been arrested on the charge of aiding and abetting the abduction and disappearance of 11 Tamil youth in 2008 and 2009. (Contd)
All of them have been remanded. But the law enforcement authorities are dragging their feet in other cases like the shooting of 5 in Trincomalee on January 01.
On 7th August, 2006 17 aid workers employed by Action Against Hunger (ACF) were murdered by the Sri Lankan army. The workers were found shot dead at their office in the town of Muttur. The ACF claimed its workers had been lined up, forced to kneel and each shot in the head. It had been awaiting the outcome of Sri Lanka’s own inquiries but they had turned into a “farce”.
There is no secret solution. The interim report of the Steering Committee is now in the pubic domain. Debate on the bill is scheduled for October 30, 31 and November, 2017. Thus things are moving but moving painfully slow like action against corruption, bribery and murders.
Sampanthan is doing whatever he can do. Some misguided and extremist elements in Diaspora (clones of Wimal Weerawansa) are asking for his blood. 01 October, 2015 the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution that Sri Lanka co-sponsored.
Sri Lanka has assured the international community of a “four-pillar approach” to address truth, reconciliation, accountability and non-recurrence. However, the government’s apparently slow-paced efforts have made the majority of Tamils anxious and dispirited. The Act that has been certified by the Speaker of Parliament, is now the law of the land, and awaits the assignment of the subject, for its operationalisation.
This is the last chance for the government to act. Otherwise extremists among the Tamils will take over leadership like in the past.