India welcomes LLRC report, expects Sri Lanka to act decisively with vision on reconciliation

Dec 25, New Delhi: While welcoming the public release of the report of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, India on Sunday expressed hope that Sri Lanka would act decisively on the devolution of powers and national reconciliation issues with a vision.

Issuing a statement in response to a question the official Spokesperson of India’s External Affairs Ministry said the Indian government will remain engaged with the Sri Lankan government through the process of reconciliation and offers their support “in the spirit of partnership”.

Noting the Sri Lankan government’s initiative to set up a mechanism to carry out further investigations relating to instances of alleged human rights violations and civilian deaths, the Spokesperson underscored the need to put in place an independent and credible mechanism to investigate allegations of human rights violations in a time-bound manner.

The Sri Lankan government tabled the 400-page report of the LLRC in the parliament on December 16.

The Spokesperson said India is still studying the report but can share some initial comments on the report.

Indian government has taken note of the assurance given by the Sri Lankan government in parliament about implementation of many of LLRC’s recommendations.

The Spokesperson detailing various constructive measures proposed by the LLRC to foster a process of lasting peace and reconciliation in the island nation said they have noted the assurance given by the Sri Lankan government in Parliament that it will ensure the withdrawal of security forces from all aspects of community life and confine their role exclusively to security matters.

Among the measures proposed by the LLRC are the investigation of cases of disappearances and abductions, promotion of a trilingual policy, deployment of Tamil-speaking officers in all offices, curbing activities of illegal armed groups, reduction of high security zones, return of private lands by the military and demilitarization, including phasing out of the involvement of the security forces in civilian activities and restoration of civilian administration in the Northern Province.

Further, the implementation of assurances to ensure speedy resettlement and genuine reconciliation, including early completion of the process of the return of Internally Displaced Persons and refugees to their respective homes, restoration of normal civilian life in affected areas would mark a major step forward in the process of reconciliation, the Spokesperson emphasized.

The LLRC report has underlined that the present situation provides a great window of opportunity to forge a consensual way forward towards reconciliation through a political settlement based on devolution of power, he pointed out.

The report recognized that a political solution is imperative to addressing the root cause of the conflict and noted that the Government should provide leadership to a political process to establish a framework for ensuring sustainable peace and security in the post-conflict environment.

“In this context, we have been assured by the Government of Sri Lanka on several occasions in the past, of its commitment towards pursuit of a political process, through a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil National Alliance, leading to the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, and to go beyond, so as to achieve meaningful devolution of powers and genuine national reconciliation,” the Spokesperson recalled.

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