Tracing missing people, reconciliation a fundamental right, Sri Lanka Tamil leader says
ECONOMYNEXT – Government mechanisms to determine the fate of missing people in Sri Lanka and promote reconciliation are a fundamental rights issue that would give confidence to minority Tamils, Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan said.
Institutions such as the Office of Missing Persons, Office of Reparations, and Truth and Reconciliation Commission must actively function amongst our people,” he was quoted in a statement as telling visiting former United Nations Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.
Feltman met with Sampanthan in Colombo Monday where they discussed the progress of measures to achieve reconciliation after the civil ethnic war.
The TNA statement quoted Sampanthan as saying these new institutions “should be in constant contact with the people to ascertain the truth,” .
“Affected people must be given consolation and made to feel that the government and other people are concerned about them,” it said.
“The government and certain politicians are trying to make this as a Sinhala – Tamil issue, but this isn’t. This is a fundamental human rights issue,” the statement quoted Sampanthan as saying.
Sampanthan also told Feltman progress on drafting a new constitution was slow with political leaders lacking the will to proceed.
“There is no commitment and political will from the political leaders and there is fear of becoming politically unpopular,” the statement said.
“Problems that are needed to be dealt must be dealt with by leaders, that’s a duty of a leader."
”Tamil people feel that they are always deceived,” Sampanthan said. “There is a reluctance on the part of the Sinhala leaders in doing the right thing. We are seeking a genuine power-sharing arrangement within a united, undivided, and indivisible Sri Lanka.”
(COLOMBO, March 19, 2019-SB)