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British government acknowledgement of role in conflict essential to truth process

12 May, 2004

Sinn Fein West Belfast MLA Bairbre de Brún, speaking from the EU election campaign in Fermanagh, has criticised the NIO's announcement of a 'pre-consultation initiative' on dealing with the past.

Ms de Brún:

"As a protagonist in the conflict, the British State cannot arrogate onto itself the lead role on this issue. Only an independent process with a clear International dimension can have any credibility. This has been universally recognised as an essential element in any genuine search for a way to proceed with this complex process.

"However, it also clear that what is lacking is an acknowledgement from the British government of its role in this conflict. There is a deep culture of concealment within the British system with the British government continuing to frustrate the search for the truth in the cases of the Saville and Baron Inquiries, Patrick Finucane and countless other cases where there is evidence of collusion.

"If the British government wants to genuinely contribute to the search for healing and closure it should initiate an inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane. It should also initiate a public act of acknowledgement. It is clear from every other example around the world that the process of healing can only really begin when the state acknowledges its crimes.

"To date other protagonists have led the way in acknowledging their part in the conflict. Ten years on from the 1994 cessations the British State and its agents and agencies have not just failed to acknowledge their role in the conflict they have actively avoided all attempts by the families affected by collusion and state murder to move forward in their search for truth and closure." ENDS

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