President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York today, said that a fundamental requirement to achieve his government's main vision -- sustainable development and reconciliation -- was to deal with the past honestly and build a modern nation: and that in dealing with the past, Sri Lanka would use a process of truth seeking, justice, reparation and non-recurrence.
President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, said that a fundamental requirement to achieve his government's main vision -- sustainable development and reconciliation -- was to deal with the past honestly and build a modern nation: and that in dealing with the past, Sri Lanka would use a process of truth seeking, justice, reparation and non-recurrence.
“It is imperative that Sri Lanka adopts a new social, economic and political approach to rise up to the challenges of the 21st century. In this regard, reconciliation receives priority attention in my country. The new consensual government under my leadership has already taken several steps to introduce and operationalize constitutional and institutional reforms required to accelerate the achievement of these goals,” he said.
Addressing the world leaders in Sinhala, the president said, “Sri Lanka is a country that has suffered from conflict. While conflict brings destruction to a society, there are also many lessons that could be learnt during and after a conflict.
“We defeated one of the world’s most ruthless terror outfits. Equally, our post conflict experiences also have been significant. We believe that all these experiences can be shared fruitfully with other developing countries affected by terrorism. Sri Lanka remains prepared to engage in a more active dialogue with these countries and will continue to speak and advocate against terrorism."
Speaking further he said, “I believe that for global development, it is important to have a dialogue within the South as much as between the North and South. My country that represents the South can contribute immensely to nurture such North-South dialogue.
“My understanding of sustainable development is not to have isolated sector or group-wise development, but to have an inclusive model of development that is capable of raising standards globally. For this purpose, I stress on the need for a fresh universal approach.”
Commenting on the sustainable development, the Sri Lankan president said that the edifice of sustainable development should be built upon the foundation of self-discipline and equity. “If this could be practised at the personal, community, national and global level, it would mark a giant leap forward for humanity.
“I propose that we, as national leaders, take cognizance of this self-discipline and equity-based approach when drawing relevant Action Plans for the future.
“Sri Lanka is a nation that respects the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and international conventions and treaties. A major objective of the UN is to recognize, safeguard and promote human rights. Sri Lanka remains committed to fulfil this responsibility. In this respect, we intend implementing a new programme and plan of action in Sri Lanka to advance human rights.”