Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera today requested those in the international community who are skeptical of the accountability measures due to be implemented in Sri Lanka, to not judge the new government by the ‘broken promises, experiences and u-turns of the past’.
“Let us design, define and create our future by our hopes and aspirations, and not be held back by the fears and prejudices of the past. Let us not be afraid to dream. Let us not be afraid to engage in meaningful dialogue aimed at finding solutions to problems as opposed to pointing fingers, heaping blame and scoring political points at the expense of future generations,” he said as he addressed the 30th UNHRC session in at the Palais Des Nations in Geneva a short while ago.
He also asked the international community to maintain their confidence on the fact that a process of accountability would be observed with due processes to ensure impartiality.
Minister Samaraweera asked the international community to shed their doubts on the success of an accountability process in Sri Lanka, while assuring the newly elected government is one that acknowledges the suffering of victims across the country’s communities and one that recognizes the mistakes of the past.
He said the appointments of the TNA Leader as the Leader of the Opposition, as well as the appointment of the 44th Chief Justice in January were clear messages that indicate the dawn of a new era in Sri Lanka where every individual irrelevant of their ethnicity, religion, class or gender would be granted their rightful place.
The Minister said the government has already planned for the establishment of the following independent and credible mechanisms for truth seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence and the mechanisms are as follows:
‘For truth seeking, the establishment by statute, of two mechanisms:
(i) A Commission for Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Non-recurrence to be evolved in consultation with the relevant authorities of South Africa. This mechanism is envisaged as having a dual structure: a ‘Compassionate Council’ composed of religious dignitaries from all major religions in the country and a structure composed of Commissioners that would allow the victims to discover the truth
(ii) An Office on Missing Persons based on the principle of the families’ right to know, set up by Statute with expertise from the ICRC, and in line with internationally accepted standards.
-On the Right to Justice - a Judicial Mechanism with a Special Counsel to be set up by Statute that accounts the right of victims to a fair remedy and aims to address the problem of impunity for human rights violations suffered by all communities.
-On the Right to Reparation - an Office for Reparations to be set up by Statute to facilitate the implementation of recommendations relating to reparations made by the proposed Commission on Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Non-recurrence, the Office of the Missing Persons, the LLRC and any other entity.
- In order to guarantee non-recurrence - a series of measures are to be undertaken including administrative and judicial reform that includes amendments to the penal code to criminalize hate speech and enforced disappearances, the adoption of a new Constitution to address grievances of the Tamil community which would be carried out through a Constituent Assembly of Parliament that would be set up shortly. . .’
He went on to state that this accountability process will help restore the good name of the armed forces and it would thereby further contribute to peace and stability in the world through significantly greater engagement in peacekeeping and humanitarian activities.
“This journey may not be as fast as some may want it to be. And for some, we may have already gone too far,” he said while adding however that the government led by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe has the political will and the courage of their convictions to ensure that the country moves forward while ‘breaking barriers of ignorance, fear, prejudice and hate’.
Meanwhile, he also thanked the UNHRC members for placing their trust in Sri Lanka at the 28th session and agreeing to the deferral of the release of the international investigation on Sri Lanka carried out by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the alleged abuses that occurred during the final stages of the war.
The Minister noted that it granted the government much needed space to implement its engagement with the international community including the High Commissioner for Human Rights and his office and to execute meaningful measures aimed at achieving reconciliation, strengthening democratic institutions and building confidence among communities affected by conflict for many years. (Lakna Paranamanna)
Comments - 21
banda Monday, 14 September 2015 09:44 PM
What eliminating terrorism?
jolly bird Monday, 14 September 2015 11:08 PM
Where is GLP LET HIM WATCH HOW MANGALA PERFORM ED HIS DUTIES IN GENEVA. via DM Android App
paths Monday, 14 September 2015 11:57 PM
BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 14 September 2015 04:52 PM
We also need to have the UNHRC report published in Tamil and Sinhala and introduced into the school curriculum, so that future children will remember the atrocities committed by the Rajapakse clan and the shame it has bought on the Sinhalese race.
A true Lankan Tuesday, 15 September 2015 01:33 AM
The majority of the Tamils are confident that our peoples President Maithiripala Srisena will deliver the goods. We have seen substantial progress under MS. We hope the country will move forward in the right direction. Those who have committed crimes against humanity have to be punished.
Suq Madique Tuesday, 15 September 2015 03:20 AM
The atrocities perpetrated by the LTTE and how the tamils supported them should be similarly documented.
DOCUK Monday, 14 September 2015 05:33 PM
simon Tuesday, 15 September 2015 03:36 AM
That is because they are being paid to do so.
simon Tuesday, 15 September 2015 03:40 AM
Having him is a good trump card for the ruling party !
rohan Tuesday, 15 September 2015 03:46 AM
They never acted on the interests of the nation. Otherwise they will not be silent on atrocities committed by British and US allies in Iraq Afghanistan and many places in the world. They are interested in Sri Lanka becos they can control South Asia via Sri Lanka controlling powers of China. via DM Android App
karthi Monday, 14 September 2015 05:36 PM
Our present depends on the past and future depends on the present.
lalu Monday, 14 September 2015 05:45 PM
Isnt there a move to replace Sampanthan. We still have long long way to go via DM Android App
Lal Monday, 14 September 2015 06:08 PM
begging like a slave. unbelievable
Senaka Tuesday, 15 September 2015 06:47 AM
Yes we must publish all the killings done by LTTE as well. Otherwise next generation will have no clue why the Rajapaksha government was blamed
Mason Monday, 14 September 2015 06:24 PM
Good speech, but again full of promises. The International Community will only believe us when we WALK THE TALK, not otherwise.We support the government in speedy implementation and not their speeches.
Sincere Monday, 14 September 2015 06:32 PM
If HRC is in a hurry to find fault with someone on HR violations, ask them to check how a number of Christian preachers are illegally detained and harassed in their prisons in Iran. Why are they silent about it and only poke their fingers into Sri Lanka?
Smith Tuesday, 15 September 2015 01:51 PM
so you mean an undemocratic religious regime in Iran violate human rights in their country, we should also do that? and no one should ask us? that is a weird reason dude...
Realbuffaloa Tuesday, 15 September 2015 08:02 AM
This comment will show the Sri Lankan ugly culture of forgetting the past. We had gone through a bad experience of terror, which only managed to crush by so called Rajapakse clan and brave soldiers of our country who given the freedom to entire country regardless of their ethnicity. There may have been flaws in that process, which must not pass on to the next generation and creates hatred among them. So, do not show the buffaloatic mentality in comments please.
Jude Tuesday, 15 September 2015 09:34 PM
Every year this time around talk of UNHRC on SL on 2009 is ridiculous!!!!??. What happened was nothing but "Collateral Damage". Just ask Americans, all Drone attacks and aerial bombings and subsequent lost of lives they Americans sumeup as " Collateral Damage ". Why not SL use the same filthy term!!!???
chaney Monday, 14 September 2015 09:16 PM
I see many rats going to town with this whole issue.... via DM Android App
dilanr Tuesday, 15 September 2015 09:32 AM
Lal what a lame statement, show some respect . Well we cant expect anything more than people like you.
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