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International monitoring of an internal investigation is a waste of time: Jaffna University Professors
Published Date: 24/02/2015 (Tuesday)

Thousands of Tamils affected by the war, staged a rally in Jaffna in the north of Sri Lanka against the postponement of the much awaited United Nation’s report on the killings of thousands of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Security forces. This rally was organized by the Jaffna University Professors and students, supported by Tamil political parties and groups in the region.

“We cannot delay a solution to the problems of the people affected by the war. The war crimes report should be published immediately” said A. Rasakumaran, President of the Jaffna University Teachers’ Association. He added that he was questioned by the Jaffna Police Chief on the eve of the demonstration.

The UN Human Rights Council said last week it would delay publication of the findings by six months, after newly elected government said it would carry out its own investigation.

But the Tamils raised concerns about an investigation by the Sri Lankan authorities, citing the current President’s position as the acting Defense Minister when majority were killed, and the presence of the then military commander in an influential position in the new government.

The UN has estimated that around 40,000 civilians were killed in the final stages of the war and women were sexually assaulted and raped, when the army backed by air and naval support pushed into LTTE-held territory.

Meanwhile, President Maithripala Sirisena, elected last month, has vowed that his government will not allow anyone to be taken before an international war crimes investigation.

At the end of the rally a memorandum to the UN was handed over to religious leaders to be handed over to the UN Resident Coordinator in Colombo, Subinay Nanday.

The memorandum states, “If we observe the structure that is in place in President Maithripala Sirisena government (which includes those who significantly contributed to the war) and the history of the failure of past internal investigation mechanisms to establish justice, it is clear that we do not have hope on any internal mechanisms to be created by this government.

"Based on our long term experience of the Sinhala Buddhist leadership in Sri Lankan politics, Sri Lankan military officials will not be punished for any kind of crimes internally, we are aware of that.

"We are also aware international monitoring of an internal investigation will only result in a waste of time.

“Votes from the Tamil people in large numbers for Maithri shows their feelings against Mahinda Rajapaksa, we did not expect a difference in the change of power”.

Meanwhile, reports from India state  that in solidarity with Jaffna rally, thousands of students rallied outside the UN office in the Indian city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
 

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