Sri Lankan Tamils Distressed Over UN Probe Report

Published: 17th February 2015 04:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th February 2015 04:05 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party Tuesday expressed distress at a decision taken by the Human Rights Council in Geneva to postpone the submission of a report based on war crimes.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which has been pushing for the report to be submitted as scheduled next month said it will seek a meeting with the council to discuss the latest developments, Xinhua reported.

The council Monday agreed to a request by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to postpone the report till September in order to give the new government of Sri Lanka time to address concerns over the war between Tamil Tiger rebels and the military which ended in May 2009.

TNA legislator Suresh Premachandran said the decision to postpone the report will be a setback to resolving the Tamil issue in the island.

"The TNA will discuss this matter and seek a meeting with the council soon to raise our concerns. If some countries have backed this postponement then it is totally unacceptable. This is going to be a setback to resolve the Tamil issue in the country. Unfortunately justice has been delayed," Premachandran said.

The UN Human Rights Council, however, said the postponement of the report till September will be a "one-time only" delay and the push for accountability will remain.

TNA leader R. Sampanthan said he hoped the decision to delay the report would be a one-time only delay and it will give time to the government to use the technical skills of the UN to conduct its domestic probe.

"The Sri Lankan government had in writing requested the Human Rights Council to postpone the submission of the report, which has been granted. However we hope the government will make use of this postponement and conduct a thorough probe as assured, using the technical skills of the UN," Sampanthan said.

"The postponement of the report will also give the UN more time to investigate further into what happened in the civil war so that the Tamils in this land can get justice," Sampanthan added.

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