Sri Lankan Tamils reject wartime truth commissionSeptember 15, 2015 20:21
Sri Lanka's minority Tamils today rejected government plans for a truth commission to promote reconciliation after decades of ethnic war, insisting on an international inquiry.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera unveiled a range of reconciliation measures yesterday at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, two days before the release of a long-awaited report on Sri Lanka's alleged war crimes.
But Tamil leaders said the new unity government's plans for a truth commission and an office for war reparations were not enough, amid concerns abuses would not be properly investigated.
"The minister tells us to have confidence and trust them. But ... he himself acknowledges that their track record is not good," said Suresh Premachandran from the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front.
"That is why we say: have an internationally independent inquiry."
Tamil legislator Dharmalingam Sithadthan also rejected the commission in favour of an international inquiry, adding that the ethnic minority was also seeking a greater share of political power.