SHARE

Key figures from the government and the opposition as well as other parties have commented on the recently released Report by the Office of the High Commission of Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) and its findings. The views expressed mostly have been mixed to optimistic, with some figures even criticizing the report for not having gone far enough.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera stated that a domestic mechanism would be set up to address the reconciliation deficit in the country, and that this would be done by January next year. He also stated that he was confident of international support for a domestic as opposed to an international inquiry.

UPFA Parliamentarian for Hambanthota District Namal Rajapaksa meanwhile lashed out at the recommendation of the Report that a hybrid court be created, stating that Sri Lankan courts are more than capable of conducting “credible investigations”. Countering this, Minister Samaraweera stated that Rajapaksa has no moral right to comment on local courts, given the previous regime’s attitude towards the judiciary.

Representing the opposition, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) affirmed the OISL Report, iterating that all parties should accept the findings of the report and to use this as a means of achieving dignity for the Tamil people.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) called for a South Africa-styled Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), accusing the previous government of stalling such a commission after 2009 and leaving a reconciliation-deficit where the concerns of war-affected civilians in the North and East should have been addressed. The JVP also noted that this in a large way accounted for why the international community was treating Sri Lanka over the issue in ambiguous way.

On the other hand, leader of the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) Dr Wickramabahu Karunaratne expressed his regret at the report not recommending an international inquiry, which he stated seemed to be a rejection of the movement which ousted Mahinda Rajapaksa on January 8.

Leader of the Democratic Party (DP) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was also critical of the Report (from another angle), denying the allegations leveled against the Army and saying that a credible report will not be opposed if incidents pertaining to war crimes did happen during the course of the war and those incidents were proven.