(Statement made on 1 March 2013 by TNA M.P. M.A. Sumanthiran at the UNHRC Event in Geneva titled ‘The No Fire Zone’)
On behalf of the Tamil People I wish to thank you Callum for that film. Our thanks our due to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for sponsoring this event.
A statement attributed to Schopenhauer says that every truth passes through three stages. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident.
It is said that Truth is the first casualty of war. I’d like to say that Truth is also the first step in the path to reconciliation.
The UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts reported that there were credible allegations that both sides to the conflict committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. It recommended an independent mechanism to investigate these alleged crimes.
The TNA, as the elected representatives of the Tamil people, welcomed these recommendations and called for Independant International Investigations into the last phase of the war.
We think this and the on going violations and persecution of the Tamil population need to be investigated and stopped.
When the Channel 4 footage was first released, the Government of Sri Lanka vigorously opposed it. Yet the government-appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) too recommended that it should be investigated to ascertain its authenticity.
We will co-operate with any investigation to uncover the Truth. It is the Truth that will lead to any kind of meaningful reconciliation and that is how the on going violations will stop.