Relatives of LTTE leaders, including Nadesan and Pulitheven, will explain the circumstances that led to their surrender and their subsequent disappearance at a meeting to be held in Geneva on June 24, The Hindu newspaper reported.The meeting has been jointly organised by Pasumai Thayagam, founded by PMK leader S. Ramadoss, along with the British Tamil Forum (BTF) and the United States Tamil Protection Council (USTPC). PMK spokesperson K. Balu and Arul of the Pasumai Thayagam will participate in the meeting. Balu said a 18,000 Tamils and their leaders surrendered in 2009 and even after six years there was no detail about their whereabouts. “The Sri Lankan government is disregarding calls to provide a comprehensive list of detainees. A lasting peace in Sri Lanka will be achieved only by bringing to light the fate of those who surrendered,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)
A police chief has been accused of performing a spectacular u-turn by failing to initiate a public inquiry into the controversial investigation of Sir Edward Heath.Angus Macpherson, Wiltshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC), has repeatedly acknowledged the need for an inquiry amid claims that the force’s findings on historical child sex abuse allegations were uncorroborated and failed to justify the time and expense officers were afforded.But he refused to fund it, according to Sir Edward’s supporters, despite confirmation from the Home Office that he has the power to do so.Lincoln Seligman, the former Prime Minister’s godson, said his reputation must be restored by a judge-led inquiry.He has written to Mr Macpherson demanding that he fund the probe and stating that he had taken his “frequent declarations” of support in good faith.“As time went on and you avoided every opportunity to initiate such a review, deploying a number of increasingly ingenious and contorted excuses, I realised that your protestations were wholly insincere,” he wrote. Angus Macperson had expressed support for an inquiryCredit:Geoff Pugh He asked if ministers would welcome a decision by the commissioner to set up an independent review without further delay.Labour’s Lord Campbell-Savours said it was time the Government acted to “get this whole mess sorted out,” adding: “The international reputation of a former Prime Minister is at stake and the Government is standing aside and doing nothing. It’s appalling.” “If you think that you can walk away from your responsibilities, I fear that you are mistaken. Surely it is time for you to reconsider your position.”Home Office minister Baroness Williams of Trafford told peers last week that the Government had no plans to hold an inquiry into Operation Conifer.She said it was for locally elected PCCs to decide how best to “hold their forces to account” and that they had the power to commission a review if thought appropriate.Various members of the House of Lords called on Mr Macpherson to fund an inquiry into the £1.5million police investigation into claims made against Sir Edward, who died in 2005 aged 89, that that found no corroborating evidence.Independent crossbencher Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, Sir Edward’s principal private secretary, said Mr Macpherson had consistently said he would like to see an independent review of Operation Conifer. “Your current U-turn – the most recent in a well-documented series, ie a refusal now to take any action – suggests that you fear the spotlight of an independent inquiry. I, and many others, can only ask why this should be the case. Lady Williams said the PCC could “engineer” such an inquiry and he would be aware of the views of peers.She said she had written to Mr Macpherson to outline his powers.Wiltshire Police launched Operation Conifer in 2015 and concluded last October that Sir Edward would be questioned under caution if he were still alive over seven alleged offences but stressed that no inference of guilt could be drawn.