Wiggy calls for setting up UN office in North

A UN office must be established in the North in order to probe wartime disappearances and human rights abuses, former Chief Minister of the Northern Province, CV Wigneswaran said, yesterday, after taking part in an event in Kilinochchi.

The Sri Lankan government was challenging the Geneva Resolution and would thwart any war crimes probe, the former CM said, urging the UN not to grant Sri Lanka any more time to fulfil its Geneva commitments.

“I fully support the protests carried out by the families of those who went missing during the war. The UN must understand our suffering and act fast. It must compel the Sri Lankan government to fulfil its obligations.”

Wigneswaran said President Maithripala Sirisena had publicly stated that he had no intention of implementing the recommendations of the UNHRC regarding alleged human rights violations. “Given this situation, the UN must think whether there is any purpose in giving Sri Lanka another extension to fulfil its promises.

“This is why we want an international tribunal to probe these matters. The UNHRC must establish a mechanism to probe Sri Lankan war crimes and human rights abuses. Moreover to stop the continuing human rights abuses in the North, The UNHRC must establish an office here.”

The Sri Lankan government had continuously attempted to mislead the UNHRC by establishing toothless mechanisms, the former Chief Minister said.

“The government has not released Tamil political prisoners. It has not yet fully returned private property that remains with the security forces. Tamil people are shocked by these developments and their mistrust has grown.

In 2015, the Sri Lankan government cosponsored the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 on “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.”

This was adopted on 1 October 2015. While Human Rights activists have hailed this decision as a commitment to ensuring truth, justice, reparation and non-recurrence of human rights violations, the resolution has also been widely criticised for weakening the country’s sovereignty.