Home » News

Structured amnesty for Tigers

[Sunday Times.lk, Monday, 29 June 2009 07:00 No Comment]

Guidelines for a structured amnesty to LTTE suspects and their sympathisers are being drawn up by the government’s legal departments.

The reprieve would apply to only lower level Tamil Tigers because the leadership and middle rung cadres have died in the war; and if any senior Tiger was to be arrested, he would be tried in the country’s criminal courts, an official said.

The government official close to the process told the Sunday Times, the “mood in Sri Lanka is that of reconciliation. There is no point in trying people with little evidence of wrong doing.” LTTE suspects, who had allegedly committed heinous crimes, would, however, be prosecuted in accordance with the law, the official said.

Human rights watchers have estimated that close to 10,000 post-war detainees with suspected links to the Tamil Tigers are being held at government safe houses even as screening of war-displaced persons continues in camps in Vavuniya.

If the government’s pardon policy is approved, a majority of the detainees can benefit with their “unconditional rejection of violence,” the official said.

Proceedings against detainees accused by the State of major crimes would be initiated by the government after the police submit their reports to the Attorney-General’s office once the ongoing interrogations were completed, the official said.

It is unlikely that a special court will be convened to try the suspects in the coming days. A section of the government is advocating the post-apartheid South African model of integration for Sri Lankas deeply-polarised society.According to report of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), there are 135 government detention centres where more than 6,700 detainees had been interviewed by ICRC delegates after the war ended in May.

The ICRC, United Nations’ agencies and 52 non-government organisations are working alongside government officials inside the 41 small and big refugee camps in the war-wrecked north where around 2 73,000 Tamil refugees await rehabilitation.

The ICRC report indicated that there were several cases of individual rights being violated. It said that it had made “representations to the relevant authorities concerning missing persons, arbitrary arrests, unlawful killings and the ill-treatment of civilians or detainees by weapon bearers.” At the same time the ICRC has also expressed willingness to continue as a neutral organisation to mediate more surrenders.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.