Power should be devolved within united, not unitary state – TNA

sumanthiran600-34by Zacki Jabbar

The Tamil National Alliance says that it is for maximum devolution within a united and not unitary state.

Deputy General Secretary of the TNA M. A.Sumanthiran speaking to The Island yesterday over the telephone from Geneva, where he was attending the ongoing 30th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) said that he had been misqouted as saying that TNA was for devolution within a unitary state. “That is not correct , the TNA having taken history into consideration believes that maximum devolution within a united State was necessary to address the Tamil peoples grievances.”

The report of the investigation conducted by the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights ( UN OHCHR) into allegations of war crimes against the previous government and LTTE during the period February, 21 2002 to May,19 2009, had been handed over to the Sirisena -Wickremesinghe administration last Friday, Sumanthiran noted adding that it was scheduled to be tabled at the UNHRC today.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein addressing the Councils opening sessions on Monday said that the release of the UN OHCHR report would be followed by his recommendations.He, observed that there had been serious violations and loss of civilian life in the last months of the war.

Asked if Hussein’s recommendations would also be tabled today , Sumanthiran said the date for that was not very clear.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his address to the assembly revealed that the government would establish a commission for truth, justice, reconciliation and non-recurrence of conflict a la the South African model, as one of two mechanisms to find a solution to the ethnic issue.

The other mechanism would be the creation of an Office on Missing Persons based on the principle of the families right to know, to be set up by Statute with expertise from the ICRC and in line with internationally accepted standards, he said adding”The best guarantee for non-recurrence is, of course, a political settlement that addresses the grievances of the Tamil people. We hope that we can achieve this through the adoption of a new Constitution.”