The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today said that ‘their’ people were unhappy and that while they had contributed substantially to bring this government to power the government has shown very little progress in the past.
Leader of the Opposition and the TNA R. Sampanthan expressed these views when United Nations Resident Coordinator for Sri Lanka Terence D. Jones paid a courtesy call on him in Parliament.
“Our young people are being discriminated against in many matters, especially with regard to employment opportunities. Our people are suffering continually. This government accepted the need for certain things to be done and they must take the necessary steps to address those needs,” he said.
Raising his concerns on the implementation of the UNHRC resolution, Mr. Sampanthan said many aspects of the resolution are not being properly addressed. Not only did the Government of Sri Lanka co-sponsor the resolution, but it requested for more time to implement the resolution and the International community graciously granted that request. Therefore, the government cannot go back on their commitments now.
Mr Sampanthan also highlighted the importance of adopting a new Constitution which will ensure the non-recurrence of the events of the past, which is also a crucial matter stipulated in the UNHRC resolution.
“There had been a lot of work done with regard to this matter since 1988. What we need now is the political will and the courage to take it further. We will remain committed to this process and will continue to exert pressure on the government to fulfil its commitments to both its own people and to the international community,” he said.
Mr Sampanthan also raised his concerns over the slowness of the process of releasing lands in the North and East.“We don’t want the military to run farms on our lands which they are doing now, we want them to exit from these commercial activities which hinder the livelihoods of our people,” he said.
Speaking further, he said when the government overreact to the extremists it only becomes an impediment to achieving reconciliation”.
Speaking on the issue of accountability Mr. Sampanthan said, “we don’t want the entire military to be framed as criminals, but certainly those who committed grave atrocities must be punished,” he said.
The UN Resident Coordinator had in turn assured Mr. Sampanthan that despite the withdrawal of the US from the UNHRC council the concerns of the international community with regards to the implementation of the resolution signed by Sri Lanka remains unchanged.