Sri Lankan Tamil party seeks UN probe into deaths

Colombo, March 31 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Tamil political party said Sunday that it will continue to push for a UN mechanism to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the island nation.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) statement comes within days after one of their political gatherings came under a mob attack in the northern town of Killinochchi which was at one time the hub of the Tamil Tigers.

“Accountability is mostly important for Tamils. During and soon after the war hundreds of Tamils went missing. After the war many had surrendered to the army but their whereabouts is not known now. The parents of these people want answers,” TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said.

He recalled that there erre conflicting reports on the number of civilians killed during Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war, with some in the government placing it at 5,000-7,000 and others placing it around 40,000-70,000.

Wanni Security Forces Commander Major General Boniface Perera said recently that several people were protesting against the government and the army over the missing people and demanding information about them.

He, however, said such protests were pointless, as the army did not know the whereabouts of those people said to have been missing.

Meanwhile, at least 13 people were injured when a mob attacked a political gathering of the TNA in northern Sri Lanka last week.

The attack happened during a meeting held at the house of a TNA MP, S. Sritharan.

“At least four party MPs were attending the discussion… A group of people came carrying the national flag in one hand and stones and clubs in the other and attacked us,” Suresh Premachandran said.

He said while 13 people were injured, the MPs escaped unhurt. One attacker was handed over to police.

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