The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) took part in a civil society consultation meeting attended by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today (29 October 2015) on the process to be adopted in consulting victims regarding mechanisms for Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka .
In the discussion note circulated during the meeting, the TCSF raised concerns regarding the security situation for such a process, calling for a process to “prevent the interference of the armed forces, police and their intelligence”.
“The larger questions is as to how a transparent and open VCP (victim consultation process) could be conducted with the overwhelming presence of the military in the North-East?,” asked the discussion note. “If the Government accepts this is a concern how does it hope to tackle this issue?”
Calling for a “participatory process” with victim representation, the TCSF said there must be “constant involvement of victims in the whole of the process – implementation and its monitoring”.
Noting that the government was “sending mixed signals, which aim at downplaying the importance of the need for involvement of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators” as mandated by a UN Human Rights Council resolution, the TCSF said that “some sections of the government are also dismissive of the need for a criminal justice process in its entirety”.
“One cannot have a process of truth and reconciliation without being honest and truthful about the objectives and aims of the process,” it added.