Former SLMM Head Ulf Henricsson last week said that a local investigation into the murders of the 17 Action Contre le Faim aid workers in Muttur would not reveal the truth while reiterating claims that government forces were implicated in the massacre.
`It is clear that government forces have been implicated, several sources have confirmed their implication. At the moment of the massacre the zone was totally controlled by government forces. The SLMM will only reveal its sources to an international commission,` Henricsson said while addressing the press in Paris last week.
He added, `I don`t believe in an inquiry conducted by the Sri Lankan judicial system. We are at a war situation in Sri Lanka. No party to the conflict can carry out an objective inquiry. The only solution is an independent international commission.`
Henricsson was attending a press conference held by ACF to mark the second month anniversary of the massacre.
However Defence Spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told The Morning Leader that the former SLMM head did not have a right to make such comments and it was only obvious that he wanted to sling mud at the government.
`No one can take him seriously, especially the international community. Investigations into the Muttur massacre are continuing and till such time inquiries conclude, no party can be held responsible. He is a man who is living in an imaginary world,` Minister Rambukwella said.
Meanwhile, ACF officials said that they were not accusing any one of the murders but that it was up to the government to bring the culprits to justice.
`We don`t want to point fingers at anyone, we want the Sri Lankan government to take its responsibilities. We want the truth behind the massacre,` ACF President, Denise Metzger said. ACF has not been informed of any new developments in the investigation two months after the massacre. `We don`t have any information why the massacre took place, there has been no new light shed by the government on the investigation. The investigation is still in its preliminary stage,` ACF Director General Beniot Miribel said.
ACF has been informed that the autopsies of the two exhumed corps and the exhumation of the remaining 15 would take place if official authorization was delivered. Himalee Arunatilake from the Sri Lankan Mission in Paris said that following an order by President Mahinda Rajapakse international experts would be included in the commission as observers. But she could not elaborate on their mandate or the numbers.
Miribel said that the truth would only come out if the witnesses were protected. He also doubted any new findings through the two post mortems.