Former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and US Permanent Representative to the UN, Samantha Power had discussed the urgency of progress towards reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Power met with Mrs. Kumaratunga who heads the Office of National Unity Reconciliation (ONUR) and Mano Tittawella, Secretary-General for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms on Wednesday at the Sri Lankan Mission to the UN in New York.
“Met with former #SriLanka Pres Kumaratunga & discussed urgency of progress towards reconciliation and accountability,” she tweeted.
In the meantime, the US Embassy in Colombo said Ambassador Power reiterated US support for Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts.
“She and Chairwoman Kumaratunga discussed the work and plans of the ONUR and the challenges and critical importance of bridging old divides and reconciling with the past. Ambassador Power described the moving experiences she has had in Sri Lanka meeting with the families of disappeared and missing people, and they discussed the work of the Office of Missing Persons, including its efforts to consult broadly across Sri Lankan civil society and minority communities.
They also discussed the importance of accountability. Ambassador Power emphasized the necessity of addressing human rights abuses and urged that transitional justice efforts move forward as soon as possible. She urged that any mechanism be accompanied by proactive outreach to keep the public informed and engaged. They spoke about the challenges ahead and timelines along which progress would be made.
Finally, they also discussed the Sri Lankan government’s ongoing efforts to counter corruption and overcome the economic challenges left behind by the previous government. They agreed on the urgent importance of delivering a “democracy dividend” to the Sri Lankan people and stressed the importance of US-Sri Lankan bilateral efforts to support trade and economic growth,” the Embassy said in a statement.