TNA In Geneva Lobbying For Release Of UNHRC Report

February 08, 2015

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A.Sumanthiran is currently in Geneva lobbying at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for release of the UN investigative report on allegations of war crimes committed in the last phase of the 2006-2009 Eelam War IV in Sri Lanka.

TNA is trying to counter the US move to postpone the presentation of the report which has been prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at the request of the UNHRC.  

The “strong” report castigating Sri Lanka is due for presentation at the March session of the UNHRC. But the US and its allies reportedly want a postponement of the presentation to September, to give the new government of Sri Lanka led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, sufficient time to put in place a credible domestic mechanism to investigate the charges.     

The US argument for postponement is that failure to give the new regime sufficient time to do the needful could result in ultra-nationalist and anti-minority forces in Lanka, represented by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, riding back to power on a Sinhalese majoritarian wave in the June parliamentary elections.  

This view was reportedly conveyed to the TNA by the US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Nisha Biswal, when she was in Lanka recently.

But the TNA fears that a postponement may lead to the report being brushed under the carpet. The US may want to keep the pro-Western politicians in power in Lanka perpetually, and for that purpose, may go for a compromise with them on the Tamil question.

TNA also has electoral compulsions to think of. It has to fight the parliamentary elections on a pro-human rights and pro-Tamil platform. It cannot be seen as pussyfooting on the UN report.
(with inputs from The New Indian Express)

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