President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he is ready to accept a South African style Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but stopped short of trapping himself into a deadline on its appointment in a specially commissioned infomercial that was aired on US television last weekend.
Thompson Advisory Group, a lobbying firm contracted by the Sri Lankan Government to carry out its image building in the US filmed the infomercial that aired on NBC on Sunday morning. The commercial is narrated by Gene Randall, a former CNN Anchor and PR consultant, who has carried out similar publicity campaigns for Chevron during an oil contamination scandal in the Amazon Rainforest.
Asked by Randall if he meant that he would appoint a TRC or if he was saying that there were commissions already in place, President Rajapaksa said: “No, no we are going to have it. We will we will. There are other commissions also. We want to know how much actually…that the people also come and give evidence there. Meanwhile we are, we want to appoint this commission too.”
“We have seen how Mandela did and we want to study that. When I was in the opposition I started this process. I went to Ireland, I met the Prime Minister,” he said.
The promotional video is part of Thompson Advisory Group’s attempt to uplift its PR efforts on the Government’s behalf ahead of the UNHRC sessions in Geneva next month.