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Nonis refuses to participate in discussion on SL's Unfinished War

2013 Dec 04

The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Chris Nonis, refused an invitation to participate in the panel discussion which the producer of the documentary Sri Lanka's Unfinished War, Frances Harrison, producer of the No Fire Zone documentaries, Callum Macrae, and policy and advocacy manager at Freedom from Torture, Sonya Sceats, took part.



The panel was chaired by a barrister at a London chamber who acted as the rapporteur to investigate the impeachment of Sri Lanka's Chief Justice. Questions were also invited from the gallery.



A preview screening of the BBC World documentary Sri Lanka's Unfinished War which outlines several cases of rape and torture against Tamils in the North-East, took place at the Frontline Club yesterday.



Macrae outlined that the lack of credibility of any investigative initiative set up by the Sri Lankan Government.



"The Sri Lankan Government has an endless history of commissions that have amounted to nothing. And I think we're going to see a lot in the run up to the UN sessions in March. I think a spurious reconciliation commission will be offered with the unfortunate help of South Africa (TRC), which will be used as an excuse to prevent things from happening. I'm sorry but from what they've done in the past, we can guarantee that almost any investigation will be spurious."



Speaking on David Cameron's attendance of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Callum Macrae reiterated, "Now we have to keep on the pressure, and make sure that what was started is continued."



Commenting on the issue of deaths during the entire phase of the war, Frances Harrison, said, "I think it's an incredibly positive thing if it can be done in a transparent and credible way. But for that to have any meaning in Sri Lanka, it would have to have some sort of international observer or involvement."



Policy Adviser for Freedom from Torture, Sonya Sceats, outlined that currently Sri Lanka was producing the most torture cases, worldwide.



Regarding allegations that torture evidence were fabricated for asylum claims, Sceats said, "Unfortunately this is a rumour that we hear a lot.



To this day we have not seen a shred of evidence that supports this claim. The UK border agency finally agreed to remove that allegation after we challenged it, but unfortunately the rumour still circulates in the tribunal." –

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