Even though there were divergent views within the government regarding the participation of foreign judges in the proposed judicial mechanism, there was a clear consensus across the board on the need of an independent and credible domestic mechanism as promised by the manifesto of President Maithripala Sirisena, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.
Speaking on the Sri Lanka's reconciliation process at Chatham House, he said as a democratic and sovereign government, Sri Lanka would work out the architecture of such a mechanism in consultation with all the stake holders.
“Although the violence ended in May 2009, the healing of wounds of over two decades of conflict, achieving reconciliation and national integration, catching up on economic progress and development that eluded us due to conflict, and ensuring non-recurrence, remain challenging tasks for our Nation. Similarly, the tasks of improving governance, institutions, rule of law, and putting in place necessary measures to strengthen, promote and protect individual rights; while ensuring the dignity of all and building a truly national identity while preserving our pluralistic society – remain work in progress,” he said.
He said Sri Lanka was committed to the implementation of the resolution which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in 2015 so that as a country Sri Lanka could deal with the past honestly and truthfully, accept that past, put it behind us, and then move forward to build our Sri Lankan nation anew.
“The content of the Resolution is based on commitments that we ourselves as a Government, made to our people, and proposals that we presented to the Council based on the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report, the Paranagama Commission Report and advice of our experts,” he said.
Mr. Sasaraweera said that Missing Persons was a phenomenon that had plagued Sri Lanka for long years and that apart from steps being taken to set up the permanent Office on Missing Persons, Sri Lanka had also become parties to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.