Colombo [Sri Lanka], Jan. 15 : The London-based Tamil Diaspora organization, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) welcoming the recommendations of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) has called on the Sri Lankan government to fully implement these recommendations.
The diaspora organisation congratulated the eleven-member panel, who after exhaustive, countrywide consultations conducted over a year, have come up with a unanimous report.
"The fact that the panel members come from all communities and their consultations reflect aspirations and apprehensions of victims from different communities, gives us hope that the Sri Lankan society, at last, can transcend ethnic and religious differences based on shared universal human values and principles," the Colombo Page quoted a GTF statement as saying.
GTF welcomed the comprehensive recommendations related to the proposed judicial mechanisms, in particular, the need for 'international expertise including judges in each transitional justice mechanism', 'both male and female judges representing all ethnic communities', and 'a special structure for women and children during examination of witnesses related to sexual crimes and crimes against children.' "We also commend the panel for recommending that 'a number of confidence-building measures ranging from the expedited return of land held by the military, to the release of a list of all detainees and detention centres, the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the immediate release of persons held under the PTA without charges, must be undertaken without delay to bridge the considerable deficit in trust and confidence.' The report further recognises the urgent need to address lingering concerns of militarisation, enforced disappearances and livelihood opportunities to promote reconciliation," it said.
According to the GTF, the panel's finding that 'foreign participation is required as those who suffered during the conflict had no faith in local judiciary which lacked expertise to undertake such task' very much resonates with the victims of the Tamil community.
The diaspora organization called upon the government to take momentous step at this crucial juncture by fully implementing the recommendations expeditiously.