Sampanthan tells Tamils not to fear investigations based on UNHRC resolution

By Dinasena Rathugamage, Vavuniya Corr

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan on Saturday said that Tamils should not harbour any doubts or fears as regards the proposed investigations into alleged war crimes.

Addressing a press conference in Jaffna after meeting people there on Saturday, Opposition Leader Sampanthan said that various opinions had been expressed in the media following the release of the UNHRC report and the adoption of a US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka, but Tamil people should not take any of them seriously. Those probes would not threaten the interests of the Tamils, he stressed.

If there were any threats to the interests of Tamil people by such investigations, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) would counter them without letting the aspirations of Tamils be undermined, the Opposition Leader said.

The TNA Leader said his party would remain vigilant in respect of the conduct of investigations irrespective of who would be holding them.

Asked why the TNA had compromised its position that an international probe had to be conducted into the alleged war crimes, Sampanthan said that there was no need for insisting on an investigation solely by international bodies.

An investigation must be held with the participation of all stakeholders so that the outcome of such an exercise would not be biased against the interests of a single community, he said.

Sampanthan said the shift of TNA’s stance would not mean that Tamil people were ready to take it lying down if the investigations were not to their satisfaction.

However, the Jaffna based civil organisations insisted that there would be no justice unless there was an international war crimes investigation.

Advisor to the Collective of Independent Organisations in the North, S. Sahadevan said Tamil people would accept only the outcome of an international probe.

Sahadevan said that there had been many local investigations including commissions and committees but none of them had been able to deliver justice to the victims. “Those local mechanisms only resulted in a waster of time and public funds. We do not deserve that kind of treatment and nobody should be allowed to take us for a ride with a local probe.”