Govt. to probe UTHR allegations

By Poornima Weerasekara Zofran generic The Defence Ministry has been requested to investigate allegations raised by the University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR-J) which recently named military and police personnel as alleged perpetrators in the ACF massacre.

UTHRA?a??a??s recent report on the killing of 17 aid workers in Muttur also raised questions about the effectiveness of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the matter.

A?a??A?We have already sent the UTHR report to the defence ministry and asked them to take necessary steps to look into the allegations made,A?a??A? Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

A?a??A?The report includes names of certain individuals.A?A? As a government we must validate the allegations and take necessary steps thereafter. The UTHR can also give evidence before the CoI,A?a??A? he said.

Defence Ministry sources confirmed they had received the report and an investigation would follow to determine the authenticity on several claims that had been made.

Addressing concerns on the slow pace of progress of the CoI Mr. Samarasinghe said there were always teething problems during initial stages when a new institutional setup was put into place.

A?a??A?However, they have started getting on with their job. The probe into the Trincomalee killings and the ACF case had to be suspended until the public inquiry session started. Investigations are also currently underway on the killing of 10 Muslims in Pottuvil Cheap cymbalta from canada ,A?a??A? he said.

A?a??A?I am as desperate as anyone else to show results as it would strengthen my case, when discussing human rights issues at international platforms,A?a??A? he said.

A?a??A?As soon as they have finished the Attorney GeneralA?a??a??s department will decide whether to recommence the judicial process,A?a??A? he said.

Providing reassurance that necessary steps would have to follow even in cases where state actors were accused as the alleged perpetrators, Minister Samarasinghe said A?a??A?there had been instances when indictments were served against security forces personnel.A?a??A?

A?a??A?But these are cases that cannot be resolved overnight, because of the special circumstances in which they have occurred and the complexity of issues that need to be dealt with. Eventually it is incumbent on the government to punish the perpetrators. I think the international community understands this,A?a??A? he said.

A?a??A?These cases are not the results of government or military policies. We do not agree with abductions or other such violations. But when they do occur we have to address them as a matter of urgency,A?a??A? he said.

According to Mr. Samarasinghe, there was no definite decision yet on whether to invite a new group of experts to form a new panel of independent international group of experts to make observations on the commission proceedings.

A?a??A?The concept of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) is unique to the Sri Lankan government. These individual experts were working within a defined framework. LetA?a??a??s see how it goes. We still have confidence on how the CoI handles the inquiries and we are positive that they will produce results eventually,A?a??A? he said.

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