Truth Commission nears finalization
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera in London said that the Reconciliation Mechanisms Committee will be studying the recently submitted Consultation Task Force (CTF) Report and finalize the designing of a Truth-Seeking Commission and...... a Reparations Office.
He spoke on the theme 'The Reconciliation Process in Sri Lanka' at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, on 11 January where he was invited as the guest speaker.
The Foreign Minister said the Consultation Task Force set up to seek the views of the public handed over its report to the government on the 3 January and copied to the relevant experts in an exercise coordinated by the Secretariat to Coordinate the Reconciliation Mechanisms, which will study the report.
The minister added that there are divergent views even within the government on the issue of the participation of foreign judges in the proposed judicial mechanism. However, despite this divergence of opinions, there is a clear consensus across the board on the need for an independent and credible domestic mechanism as pledged in President Maithripala Sirisena's election manifesto.
As a democratic and sovereign government, we will work out the architecture of such a mechanism in consultation with all the stakeholders.
He further added that "among the various multiple tasks, we undertook the drafting – through a consultative and inclusive process – of a National Human Rights Action Plan for the next five years beginning this year (2017-2021). This draft Action Plan is currently before Cabinet."
"As you are aware, the missing persons phenomenon has plagued Sri Lanka for several years. Apart from steps being taken to set up the Permanent Office on Missing Persons, we have also become parties to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The draft enabling legislation to give effect to the provisions of the Convention is also presently before the Cabinet.
"On the North and the East issues the minister said government has also taken a series of symbolic steps to establish equality of all citizens, such as singing the National Anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil; promising the people that we won't allow our country to plunge into conflict again and the shedding of blood of our citizens by adopting a Declaration of Peace on Independence Day in February 2015 and observing the National Integration and Reconciliation Week annually, beginning this week."
He noted that much of the preparatory work for the new Constitution has now been completed. Wide-ranging public consultations were conducted for the first time in Sri Lanka's constitutional history; much study, reflection and negotiation was undertaken to arrive at consensus at the six sub-committees set up and final negotiations on a draft are currently underway.
"Right now, the President's party, the SLFP, and the JVP have asked for time to present their respective final proposals. The Interim Report therefore, is expected to be tabled before the Constitutional Assembly in early February, for debate."
He also remarked that the government's plans of making Sri Lanka an Indian Ocean hub are beginning to bear fruit: the Colombo International Financial City; the Hambantota, Colombo East and Trincomalee Ports; and the Katunayake and Palali Airports are all hives of activity. By 2020, Sri Lanka will have the necessary infrastructure, regulations, and companies in place to achieve its hub ambitions.
"But this time, there is reason to hope. The violence has finally ceased. The two main parties that have always worked against each other have now come together. The President, Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition are people with wisdom who know that what we have today in Sri Lanka is a unique opportunity, which we simply cannot afford to miss. It is not the opportunity of the decade but the opportunity of a lifetime.
For the first time in Sri Lanka's history the UNP, SLFP, TNA and Muslim parties have agreed to work together to address the root causes of conflict. We have learnt from the mistakes of the past, and we are committed to ensuring that we achieve the promise that shined so brightly at our independence.
The lessons and the choices of our history are clear to us today. We have a choice between impunity, conflict, corruption, extremism and poverty, or the rule of law, accountability, equality, multiculturalism, openness and trade. We have a choice between conflict and poverty, versus peace and prosperity.
- China to provide 90 water bowsers worth Rs 1b 2098
- Wag the Dog 2124
- A brief look at FARC’s origins in Colombia 2065
- ‘Panama Papers’ bags Pulitzer 2076
- SAITM will cooperate with Govt 2088
- dead man was near fashion mall 2120
- Japanese MPs back Lanka’s development 2088
- CB Bond earnings whitewashed – JVP 2099
- Talks to extend Lanka’s Continental Shelf 2088
- Ex-DIG and son re-remanded 2100
- Government can be sent home 2633
- GMOA flogging SAITM for Mahinda– Rajitha 2098
- Ranil invites Japan to invest in S. Asia 2084
- Somali Pirates’ Captives Back Home 2087
- Customs in Rs 8 M bust 2090
- Redefining Rape 2124
- The march of folly Our mad Cabinet system 1723
- First adventures in Europe 1808
- Inspiration for writers 1805
- Sri Lanka’s sustainable development dream 1865
- Sinhala and Tamil New Year with Easter 1944
- Filipino Oconer wins overall title 1726
- Unsporty conduct by Joes 1760
- Bertie Wijesinghe, pre-Test era Sri Lankan cricketer, dies aged 96 1744
- CEAT revs up for 2017 1728
- Palace shock Arsenal 1724
- Argentina fire coach Bauza 1734
- BCCI postpones SGM to 18 April 1725
- Murray returns from injury 1721
- New mum Azarenka to return to WTA 1713
- Galle win by 188 runs 1710
- Keeping Cool 1732
- Do the right thing and do it now! 1732
- Ravi Jayewardene Pious son of a political giant 2303
- In the heart of the old country 2149
- Sarath Weerasekera’s Geneva adventure 1944
- No moral right to play with public funds 1886
- No need for fine if route permits are issued in fair, just manner 1763
- UDA incurs Rs 330M Loss 1716
- DOUSING A MEGA SHIP FIRE 1549
- Health authorities in denial? 2012
- Minorities’ frustration a powder keg – VIDURA 2070
- Administrative powers a must for the Plantation Tamils –Radhakrishnan 1324
- Rajapaksa sought advice from McGuinness– Indika Perera 2419
- I will lead SLFP to victory in future elections – President 1839
- Hang the ‘traitors’– RTD. REAR ADMIRAL WEERASEKARA 2137
- We oppose Nationalism and Federalism – Samarasinghe 2939
- SilkAir launches direct flights to Colombo 1760
- Rupee falls on thin volumes 1725
- SriLankan, Japan Airlines add new routes 1747
- Colombo Port box volume up 5.6-pct in Jan 1727
- Private sector to transform into main domestic growth engine 1747
- Oil eases from 5-week top, rising US production weighs 1718
- Tight fiscal and monetary policies constrain SL’s growth 1734
- Shell admits dealing with money launderer 1734
- Toshiba may sell chip business to Foxconn for $27bn 1722
- Asian shares pressured by geopolitical risks; Nikkei down 0.25% 1725
- SLIM launches Certificate in Digital Marketing 1730
- Microsoft Hosts Second ‘Device Day’ in Sri Lanka 1725
- Emirates named Best Airline in the World 1724
- Turkish Airlines and social media assist Somalia 1725
- Brain cell therapy ‘promising’ for Parkinson’s disease 1727
- Trump pushed into bombing Syria 1771
- Thailand discovers Power of Women Travellers 1735
- Economics of gambling 1598
- Trans National Aural Identity 3298
- Queen Anula The Shadow of Cleopatra 3320
- Poetry and its possibilities Part 2 3345
- The Enigma of Labyrinths 3447
- From Couture to Kutir 3317
- Hybrid Sources 4721
- Offering Riddles & Enigmas 4797
- Poetry and its possibilities 4805
- With a festive bang! 948
- Easter Fun 946
- Arrogance and crowing is the way of the doomed 965
- Avurudu on the streets 980
- Tick control 948
- Sunny Sunday on the beach 959
- It’s time to save the world 1027
- From viewer to YouTuber! 1019
- Expert skincare and makeup 1035
- Avurudu at Induruwa 1002
- Exo 1025
- Remembering our fallen heroes 2107