TNA leader R. Sampanthan told Parliament today that ethnic violence was unleashed against the Tamil people when they made political demands that would enable them to live as equal citizens in the Country.
He said the armed conflict by Tamil youth emerged only after several decades of ethnic violence against the Tamil people.
“The Conflict was also internationalized, and the issue has been in the international domain. Several resolutions were adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council and the resolution adopted in October 2015 comes up for review in February /March 2017. Our Neighbour and parent Country India offered its good offices to resolve the issue which Sri Lanka accepted in 1983. An Indo Sri Lanka agreement was signed on 29th July 1987 between Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India and President J R Jayawardene of Sri Lanka which laid down vital contours for a political resolution,” he said.
He also noted that there were also several domestic efforts to finally resolve the conflict and the efforts were made after the enactment of the 13th amendment to the Constitution.
“With the assumption of office of the new Government, Parliament has constituted itself as a Constitutional Assembly, a Steering Committee, comprising of representatives of all political parties in Parliament has been appointed, under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister, various Sub – Committees representing different political parties have been appointed, and work is in progress for the evolution of a Constitution to resolve the conflict within a united, undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka, with the maximum possible consensus,” he said.
Sampanthan says issues relating to transitional justice in respect of which resolutions have been adopted at the Human Right Council also need to be addressed.
He says these are also issues of urgent public importance in respect of which the Country needs to be kept informed.
“While we on our part will extend the maximum co-operation to the satisfactory conclusion of these processes and to the non – recurrence of violence, it is absolutely essential that these processes be taken forward in a genuine and purposeful manner, so as to ensure permanent peace with justice and equality to all citizens,” he said.
He also said it is fundamental that all extend their cooperation to enable the successful conclusion of these processes. (Colombo Gazette)