18 November, 2019

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Clinton Urges Sri Lanka To Make Reconciliation Plans Public

By By Stephen Kaufman / IIP Digital /usembassy.gov

Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States wants to be a supportive partner in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation and reconstruction efforts following decades of conflict between the government and Tamil rebels.

Speaking with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris ahead of their meeting at the State Department May 18, Clinton said the Obama administration “strongly supports the process of reconciliation and reconstruction” in the country and that Sri Lanka enjoys strong and independent ties with the United States.

Clinton

“We were encouraged to see the end of a very long, bloody, terrible conflict, and look forward to working with Sri Lanka as they pursue their commitment to a better future for all the people,” she said.

Following the meeting, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Foreign Minister Peiris had presented Clinton with “a very serious and comprehensive approach” to the implementation of recommendations from Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2011 to investigate and address the issues that led to the 1983–2009 conflict.

Peiris told Clinton about the Sri Lankan government’s plans with regard to the LLRC, such as making public, “both to Sri Lankans and to those outside Sri Lanka, what the government intends to do in the implementation round,” Nuland said.

The secretary reportedly encouraged Sri Lankan authorities to have a “really transparent, open public process, not only on the LLRC specifically and its implementation, but also with regard to accountability,” Nuland said, so that public confidence in its reconciliation efforts will be strengthened both inside and outside Sri Lanka, as well as to help “speed the healing of the country.”

According to Nuland, Clinton told Peiris, “’Good plan. Now you really need to make it public. Now you really need to show your people [and] the world the concrete implementation steps going forward.’”

She also stressed the importance of demilitarizing the northern part of the country and holding provincial elections there, as well as the protection of human rights, including the protection of the press, having the government create space for Sri Lankan civil society, and “generally the creation of an environment that is inclusive,” Nuland said.

Ahead of his meeting with Clinton, Peiris said there is an “intimate connection between reconciliation and economic development” in Sri Lanka, and “any realistic process of reconciliation must focus upon economic factors” with “a certain threshold of economic contentment and well-being, and emphasis on access to livelihoods and incomes.”

If Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process is to be successful, “it must reflect sensitivity to the aspirations of our people. It must have a homegrown polity,” so the majority of the people can identify with the process and allow it to “come alive in their hearts and minds,” he said.

Peiris said that with the return of peace and tranquility in Sri Lanka, “there is abundant scope for building further upon the relationship that is already very strong and vibrant” between Sri Lanka and the United States.

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Latest comments

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    ….. come on GL…. Let’s Hear the points …… make it transparent …. be modern …. remove the masks of old fashioned secrets and Pandora boxes…. come talk to us the people….

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    Will see what out idiots do!

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    The international community is slipping the rope with the noose around this government’s neck, and if the promises and assurances are not kept, will pull the trap door abruptly, leaving them hanging high and dry, even declaring that the country deserves the leaders it gets. Since there is no effective mechanism in place (as yet), and with a decimated political opposition, which could monitor progress and adherance to LLRC guidlines and rules, no one can expect justice and fair play in all honesty, unless the international committee sends in observers from time to time, to report on the progress being made. Otherwise this is all going to be a futile effort and a major farce. A major portion of the population bears no confidence in this government’s ability to hold its own, whilst it derides the intelligence of its citizens.

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    If the Govt seriously wanted the views/opinions of the Sinhala people they would have extensively circulated the LLRC Report in Sinhala (and Tamil) Not only it was not done even the English copies made available
    were just a few. I know many academics overseas unable to get a hard copy. So the Rajapakses cannot claim innocence that the people – Sinhala, Tamil,Muslim and others – suspect their bona fides.

    Sarath Fonseka, meanwhile, remains incarcerated despite Court clearance. It is understood the President will be away for a few days in Qatar. Sophistry, perfidy or unadulterated trickery once again at work???

    Senguttuvan

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    I can remember very well that GL Peiris told in public that the SL Govt will not adhere to any LLRC as USA is expecting. But what he has gone and told Clinton is quite different. Real Gankabaraya’s talk, double toung, just playing fool with citizens.

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    Restore all rights to General Fonseka and release all political prisoners -Mangala

    (Lanka-e-News-23.May.2012, 7.30PM) While we acknowledge the release of General Sarath Fonseka from prison as recommended by the Minister of Justice to HE the President and approved accordingly, we do register our strongest protest for restricting his civic rights in engaging in political activities, as he chooses and wish to.

    As we have come to understand, General Fonseka has been released from prison, given a remission on his sentence under Article 34 of the Constitution, which only means he had been allowed from prison, before serving the full sentence and without restoring any of the rights he was denied by the sentences and due to imprisonment. We stress that he was a “political prisoner” and his release should therefore accept him as a politician, free to involve in politics on his own accord.

    We also demand that all other political prisoners including the 234 Tamil youth on hunger strike, who are held in detention and without charges for well over 02 years be released immediately, as the government has so far failed to file any charges against any of them. Filing of charges hereafter would only mean, the government is not prepared to free them and for that purpose, charges that could not be framed for over 02 years are now being framed.

    So is the issue of all the security personnel who were victimised and punished for being in association of General Fonseka. They should also be pardoned and their previous status restored immediately.

    A government that claims, it is respecting human and civil rights and safeguards democracy, should not only be seen to be so to the world, but must also live to be so for the people of this country to engage with their conscience as free and independent people.

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