Extensive reconciliation measures underway – envoy


Extensive reconciliation measures underway – envoy

Sri Lanka has progressively adopted a broad range of measures to
facilitate reconciliation after May 2009 when the conflict against
terrorism ended, Sri Lankan ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya told a
gathering of the Serendipity Group of retired US diplomats. He said
international pressure might make it difficult to enact the Lessons
Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’s (LLRC) recent recommendations.


Jaliya Wickramasuriya

Ambassador Wickramasuriya said that Sri Lanka stood strongly against
a resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council that calls for
Sri Lanka to adopt the LLRC recommendations, noting that Sri Lanka has
already agreed to do so.

“Considering all the changes the country has undergone in the
post-conflict period, it is important that Sri Lanka be given the chance
to overcome its challenges,” Wickramasuriya said.

“It is only natural, then, that Sri Lanka would not wish to encounter
measures that some countries may bring to the Human Rights Council,” he
said. “This pressure from some part of the international community is
unacceptable,” Ambassador Wickramasuriya said.

“It is the firm conviction of the Sri Lankan government that it will
not favour any external intervention to probe into its domestic issues.

Further, such action would not be in keeping with established
international procedure, where the domestic process needs to be
exhausted prior to any international action.”

The ambassador laid out a long record of accomplishments by Sri Lanka
since the end of the conflict, measures taken without international
attention.

They included the resettling of 300,000 people displaced by the
conflict, development work that has helped rebuild areas damaged by the
conflict and revive important livelihoods in northern Sri Lanka, such as
agriculture and fishing, and the rehabilitation of 1,000 former LTTE
child soldiers and about 12,000 adult LTTE terrorists, who have been
given amnesty.

“My point is this: These are home grown solutions,” the ambassador
said.

“They are already in place, and they work.

This is what democracies do. It is the government of Sri Lanka that
is best placed to launch a home grown solution acceptable to all of the
country’s citizens.

This will be done, after all, within the framework of democracy.”
Many in the audience expressed support for Sri Lanka’s accomplishments
and its ability to implement the LLRC recommendations.

Those recommendations include the prosecution of those suspected of
committing war crimes, the resolution of land disputes, the
accommodation of war widows, investigations into those who are still
missing, the issuance of death certificates to those who are confirmed
to be deceased, investigations into armed independent groups and a
number of other measures.

“We have already announced that we will adopt the LLRC
recommendations,” Ambassador Wickramasuriya said. “If it is not quick
enough for some of our critics, we can only offer the record of our
recent past accomplishments.

As I have just noted for you, a good deal of positive change has
already take place.”

 

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