Adams comments on Eames/Bradley Report
The Eames/Bradley Commission is today presenting its finding to the British Government. Writing in this week's edition of the Republican newspaper An Phoblacht, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams set out his view on what was required for a process to deliver for victims and survivors of the conflict.
"The Eames/Bradley Commission into dealing with the past is due to publish its report in the coming weeks. Sinn Féin has met the Eames/Bradley Body on a number of occasions despite our reservations about the fact that it is established by and answerable to one of the protagonists to the conflict, the British government.
"Sinn Féin has concluded that the establishment of an Independent International Truth Commission is the best way of taking this issue forward. But this cannot work if such a body is established by and answerable to the British Government. The British State are protagonists in this conflict, they are not innocent observers. There are many victims' organisations that fear that the Eames/Bradley proposals will not recognise this reality and allow the British State to continue its policy to date of cover up and concealment. That would be unacceptable to Sinn Féin.
"We were also the first political party to publish proposals on the issue of truth recovery. We have put forward a number of proposals which we believe must underpin any effective truth recovery process. The principles we identified are:-
· All processes should be victim-centred and deal with victims on an all-Ireland basis;
· Full co-operation by all relevant parties is essential to the success of any commission;
· There should be no hierarchy of victims;
· All processes should be politically neutral;
· Any future panel should be international and independent;
· One of the purposes of any future panel/commission should be to examine the 'causes, nature and extent' of the conflict;
· An objective of any process should be healing - both for direct victims and for society in general;
· A common aim should be to enable society to build the peace;
· Reconciliation should be the core aim of any truth process; and respect and generosity should inform the parties seeking to reach agreement.
"Sinn Féin will judge any proposals from the Eames/Bradley Group against this benchmark.
It must be a process that can deliver the truth to bereaved families as a result of independent investigation. And it must analyse the policies and practices that sustained and fuelled the conflict.
"One way of achieving an independent process is to have an international inquiry. The United Nations or another reputable agency could be involved." CRÍOCH