Reparations are essential in leading to a process of reconciliation and it should be done in parallel to a process on truth, justice, and non-recurrence, Secretary of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM), Mano Tittawella said.
He said this in view of the two-day international conference organised by the SCRM, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Migration Agency on reparations for conflict victims. The conference was launched in Colombo yesterday.
In a statement, the IOM said this was the first such conference to be held in Sri Lanka since the end of the war in 2009.
“The conference follows the UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka and a government decision to actively promote reconciliation, including a system of victim reparations, that will contribute to a lasting peace,” it said.
IOM Sri Lanka Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti said transitional justice is a relatively new field which is being expanded and enriched through experiences from many different societies across the globe.
“A solution in one country or community does not necessarily work for others, particularly in relation to finding the right balance between what is desirable and what is feasible. It takes a whole of society approach to move from a divided past to a shared future and that is the underlying theme of this conference,” he said.
The conference brought together some 150 participants from the government and non-government sectors, development partners, UN, local and international NGOs, civil society organizations, victim groups, academics, experts and other relevant stakeholders.