Though Sri Lanka has achieved ‘some small recent’ progress in terms of implementing UN resolutions, British Minister for Asia and Pacific Mark Field said the progress had been slower than they would have anticipated or liked.
The Minister expressed these views during a debate held in British Parliament on March 20 over the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka.
Responding to other members’ queries during the debate, Minister Field said Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of UN Human Rights Council resolution in 2015 was a truly historic moment.
“It was, at least verbally, a strong commitment to addressing the legacy of its long-running and devastating civil war, a commitment subsequently extended by two years last year in resolution 34/1. Sri Lanka pledged to establish a commission for truth, justice, reconciliation and non-recurrence, to sit alongside other mechanisms as part of a comprehensive truth and justice process.
“We remain absolutely committed to the full implementation of those resolutions as the single best way to secure the lasting reconciliation and peaceful future that are in the interests of all Sri Lankans, and which they so richly deserve,” he said.
He said an Office on Missing persons is close to being operational and the Sri Lankan Government have passed a law to prevent and criminalise enforced disappearances.
“I understand that a draft law to establish an office of reparations has been approved by the Sri Lankan cabinet. I also understand that draft legislation for a truth-seeking commission—an important part of this whole process—has been prepared, drawing upon the work of a country-wide consultation taskforce,” he said.