COLOMBO: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will be sending a lawyers’ team to the coming session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva at which the UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s report on war crimes allegedly committed in Sri Lanka is to be presented and acted upon.
TNA leader and Jaffna MP Mavai Senathirajah told Express on Saturday, that the team will be headed by Supreme Court Senior Counsel, M.A.Sumanthiran, who is also a fellow MP from Jaffna.
“A TNA delegation, as such, might be sent after reading the High Commissioner’s report and the Sri Lankan government’s response to it. The task of Sumanthiran and his team of lawyers will be to examine the High Commissioner’s report and the Lankan government’s reply, and chalk out a line on which the TNA leadership will base its final decision,” Senathirajah said.
Meanwhile, speaking to the media on Friday, TNA’s chief, R.Sampanthan, said that party’s stand on the UNHRC’s proceedings on Lanka will be based on the Tamils’ sentiments as well as the views of the International Community.
“While we have to go by the peoples’ sentiments, we cannot alienate the international community,” he said.
There is an overwhelming demand from the Tamils that the TNA should reject the US-Lankan agreement to substitute the international investigation by a domestic probe. M.K.Shivajilingam, a TNA member of the Northern Provincial Council is currently leading a march from Kilinochchi to Jaffna seeking an international probe and an international judicial mechanism for the trial of the accused.
But the TNA’s leadership feels diffident about alienating the US and the Western world which also dominate the UNHRC.
Truce Over Wigneswaran
Asked if the anti-party activities of the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran was discussed at the TNA’s Executive Committee meeting on Friday, Senathirajah said that the committee decided to let Sampanthan talk to Wigneswaran to sort out matters.
In the run up to the August 17 parliamentary elections, Wigneswaran had issued a statement saying that he would be “neutral”. As if this was not enough, he indirectly advised voters to support the radical Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF).
Button holed on this by the Tamil daily Thinakkural, Wigneswaran said that he hoped to resolve the issue during meetings with the TNA’s leadership.
“I am not a politician. I had accepted the post of Chief Minister only to see that the war-affected people of the North get their due. I am not interested in anything else,” he declared.