Hon. Maithripala Sirisena

His Excellency

The President

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Follow up Written Submission to All Party Discussion held on 23rd of October 2015

Hon Sir:

Further to our oral submissions at the All Party Discussion on 23.10.2015, on behalf of our party, I would like to submit our suggestions in writing with the hope that they will help win the support and confidence of the Tamil people for the measures you will be taking in the future to promote a process of reconciliation.

Here are our views for your Excellency’s perusal:

  • Tamil people voted for you in unprecedented numbers, because they believed that you would find a just political solution that recognizes fundamental self-ruling rights of the tamil community within a united Sri Lanka;
  • Tamil population, since the end of the war in May 2009, have called for an international inquiry into the violations and abuses of human rights that had occurred over a considerable period of time;

  • The Tamil people have emphasized the need for an international inquiry, because they had lost the trust placed in prior investigations. Indeed, there is no political will in the South to conduct a domestic inquiry, because members of the armed forces are seen as war heroes in the Southern imagination. Colombo civil society has also been co-opted as demonstrated at the consultation held at the Janaki Hotel last week. The absence of protest by civil society is worrying. Therefore any new mechanism for inquiring into these incidents must show the people that your Excellency’s government is determined to get to the root cause of the ethnic problem and eradicate them;
  • In the past the people who dared to give witness to the commission on missing persons were harassed and threatened with their life by the Security Forces and intelligence. Therefore the safety of the witnesses must be ensured.
  • We ask for this inquiry not with the intention to take revenge on anybody, but rather as a process to ensure that justice be done to both the victims, and their kith and kin;
  • The inquiry is to help address the root causes of the ethnic conflict, and through this process help find a political solution to the decades old ethnic problem that caused the outbreak of violence that tore the country apart

However, prior to the setting up of Commissions of Inquiry, it is the considered view of my party that a number of measures need to be implemented to build confidence among the Tamil people.

  1. Unconditionally releasing all Tamil political prisoners against whom no charges have been filed;
  2. All persons indicted under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Public Security Ordinance Act are released with immediate effect. Releasing all persons held under these two pieces of legislation will also send a strong message to the international community that your Excellency’s government is in fact genuine in its stated commitment to review and repeal the two said legislative enactments (Annual Report of the UNHRC 13th session). We emphasize that these persons MUST be completely released forthwith;
  3. Immediately releasing all the lands that are occupied by the armed forces. (Around 40,000 people are still languishing in displaced persons’ camps. Rations provided to these people have been stopped, but no attempt has been made to resettle them in their own lands. Many others live in rented houses, or with friends or relatives. These people also have to be sent back to their own homes and lands to lead their normal life). This crisis has to be solved with immediate effect;
  4. The prisoners who were indicted and convicted, most of them have been convicted only of self-confession, should be released on general amnesty.
  5. The truth behind those who were made to involuntarily disappear must be brought to the light, and information as to what happened to those people must be made known to the public. I would like to give you an instance of an incident that occurred very recently: In Varani village of Jaffna district, a prominent LTTE cadre Vinayagam’s wife and children were suddenly dropped by unknown persons near their house. Vinayagam’s wife had surrendered to the armed forces with her children at the end of the war in May 2009, and went missing since then and her whereabouts were unknown to her relatives for the last five years. This particular incident has created renewed expectations among relatives of other missing persons that their loved ones are also still alive, somewhere in this country, under the custody of armed forces. The anxiety and agony of the relatives of missing persons must be brought to a closure without any delay.

Thank you for your consideration.


D. Sithadthan, M.P.


Democratic People’s Liberation Front