Sri Lanka’s Northern Council seeks international war crimes probe

Chief Minister-elect for Sri Lankas northern provincial government, retired Supreme Court Justice C.V. Wigneswaran flashes a victory sign following a media briefing in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. The Tamil National Alliance, a former political proxy for Sri Lanka's defeated Tamil Tiger rebels swept the country's northern provincial election, according to results released Sunday, in what is seen as a resounding call for wider regional autonomy in areas ravaged by a quarter century of civil war. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)   | Photo Credit: Eranga Jayawardena

Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) passed a resolution on Monday calling for an international probe into the war crimes allegedly committed during the country’s ethnic conflict.

The resolution was proposed by NPC member M.K. Shivajilingam of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which formed the NPC administration after winning the 2013 provincial elections.

The resolution comes less than two months before United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay is due to submit a written report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on the progress made by Sri Lanka in fixing accountability for alleged war crimes.

The Northern Council has sought an international inquiry into the Sri Lankan government’s acts of “ethnic cleansing,” Mr. Shivajilingam told The Hindu. He proposed a second resolution calling for rejecting Sri Lanka’s own inquiry mechanisms.

The 38-member Council, of which 30 belong to the TNA, passed all three resolutions but not before several rounds of debate on whether the term “genocide” should be used.

Sources said Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, widely regarded as a moderate voice within the TNA, insisted that the term be avoided.

Another resolution called for building a monument at Mullivaikkal, in Mullaitivu, in memory of civilians killed in the final military assault on the LTTE in May 2009.

Until late Monday, the Sri Lankan government did not respond to the resolutions.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 11:33:48 PM |

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