by Shamindra Ferdinando
The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has joined the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in a project to garner support for their on-going efforts to reach an understanding with the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition.
Asanga Welikala, Senior Researcher of the CPA will represent the CPA.
President of the influential GTF, Rev. Father S.J. Emmanuel is scheduled to preside at a meeting at the Birbeck College, University of London on Saturday (19) to create awareness among the community regarding the rapid developments taking place with the UN calling for the establishment of a hybrid special court, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers as well as investigators.
The four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will be represented by its Deputy General Secretary and attorney-at-law M.A. Sumanthiran. Director of Strategic Initiatives for GTF, Suren Surendiran will also join the discussion.
The TNA comprises the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi and three former militant groups namely the PLOTE, TELO and EPRLF. The TNA secured 16 seats at the Aug. 17 parliamentary polls.
Constitutional affairs expert Welikala had been with the Office of Constitutional Support, United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in Baghdad.
The London meeting will be preceded by a roundtable in Bern, Switzerland tomorrow (Sept 18). Sumanthiran and Welikala are scheduled to participate in the roundtable discussion.
The TNA was going ahead with the project amidst a section of its members strongly opposing the party compromising on its previous stand for an exclusive international tribunal to investigate accountability issues here.
Government and Diaspora sources told The Island that though there had been opposition from some quarters, they were pursuing reconciliation efforts. Sources said de-proscription of Diaspora groups would be a priority in the run-up to formal talks involving stakeholders.
Sources pointed out that Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his most recent address to the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRCO had assured that the de-proscription of 16 organizations and 424 individuals in 2014 under the provisions of the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 was nearing completion.
Samaraweera said that it was being done in accordance with Sri Lanka’s objective to engage Sri Lankans living overseas belonging to all communities, and inviting them to assist in the Government’s peace-building and reconciliation efforts.