If those proposing such ‘swap trade’ were really prepared to understand the nature of the grave crimes committed during the last phase of the war, they would not be proposing to trade justice with reconciliation, Justice Wigneswaran said.
A mind-set of impunity would seep through the military if Tamils were to ‘swap trade’ justice with reconciliation, he explained. Tamils cannot afford to give such ‘green signal’ and risk recurrence of the past crimes, he said.
Meanwhile, more than 30 SL military intelligence operatives were taking photographs and video recordings of every person, including those who came from South, to participate in the memorial event.
The civil society activists present at the venue complained that the SL military was recording the photos to register the particulars in a ‘counter insurgency database’ being maintained by the SL Defence Ministry to target people in the future.
In his address, Justice Wigneswaran described that the accountability and reconciliation were entirely different matters. Accountability deals with the past and the reconciliation deals with the future, he said.
The government, which came to power also with the votes of Tamils, seems to have at least understood the need for allowing the people to collectively remember their dead, he said after condemning the previous SL government for inhumanly denying the victims to collectively remember their fallen in the past.
However, the present government was also trying to evade accountability with regards to the war crimes.
Mr Wigneswaran pointed out that Bishop of Mannaar, the Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph had documented with evidence that more than 140,000 people were unaccounted for during the last stage of the war and that the present government has not done anything substantial to clarify what had happened to the missing people.
Justice Wigneswaran also said that the Sinhala population was also trying to evade accountability of the SL State machinery.
However, the reasonable leaders among the Sinhalese should come forward understanding the significance of addressing the accountability of past crimes and extend their support, he urged.
8-months have elapsed since the enactment of ‘consensus’ resolution. There has been no constructive step on the part of the SL government to address war crimes investigations.
Mr Wigneswaran also described that he had written letters both before and after the publishing of OISL findings to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, explaining the significance of international prosecution. The NPC Chief Minister said he had also explained why judges appointed by Colombo would be inappropriate to address the accountability issue and why
The International Community should be firm in addressing the issue of accountability of war crimes, he said.
Political leaders of the TNA including some of those who are aligned with the deviating polity led by R. Sampanthan and M.A. Sumanthiran, civil society activists, NPC councillors, former civic members and the activists of the Tamil Peoples Council took part in the collective memorial event at Mu'l'ivaaykkaal.
The memorial event was presided by NPC Councillor T. Raviharan at the grounds of Mu'l'livaaykkaal Mixed School.
Suresh Premachandran of EPRLF and M.K. Shivajilingam representing the TELO as well as Tharmalingam Sidharthan of PLOTE and Mavai Senathiraja of ITAK also spoke at the memorial event.
The participants were all remembering the fallen Tamil fighters passing a message that Tamils were not prepared to perceive the memorial event separating the civilians from their fallen fighters as the present SL government was demanding.
NPC Councillor Mr Shivajilingam told TamilNet that the foreign countries such as India and the USA continue to sustain an atmosphere enabling the Sri Lankan State to continue to describe the Tamil freedom fighters as ‘terrorists’. He urged the Tamil diaspora to double its efforts to de-proscribe the LTTE from the terror lists of the State outside the island in order to restore the dignity and self-respect of former Tamil fighters who are no longer engaged in an armed struggle.