Colombo Telegraph

UNHRC: Sri Lanka Says Approach Of Each State To Reconciliation Must Be Context-Specific

Sri Lanka has highlighted the highlight the need to adopt “a pragmatic, context specific approach in addressing issues of transitional justice” and noted that “the approach of each state to reconciliation must be context-specific, taking into account the particularities of each state and the aspirations of its people”.

Manisha Gunasekera

Intervening during an Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on ‘Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-recurrence’ Pablo de Grieff, at the ongoing 24th Session of the Human Rights Council on Thursday (12 September 2013), Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Manisha Gunasekera has observed, that “the Government of Sri Lanka has undertaken a harmonious and holistic approach to reconciliation, taking into consideration a range of cross-cutting issues including resettlement, housing, land, rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-combatants including former child soldiers, democratisation, accountability, demilitarisation, demining, infrastructure development, livelihood development, education, vocational training, trauma and psycho-social counselling, support for female-headed households and war widows, the trilingual policy, etc.  These actions initiated shortly after the ending of the terrorist conflict in May 2009, are presently being continued in the context of the National Plan of Action for the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC, in a time bound manner. 

Gunasekera said “this reconciliation process is also well integrated into the country’s governance system through the wide network of line Ministries and Agencies.  For example, the implementation of the identified recommendations of the LLRC through the National Plan of Action fall within the purview of over 20 line Ministries ranging from, Defence, Public Administration, Justice, Land, Child Development and Women’s Affairs, Education, National Languages and Social Integration, to Culture and Arts and Sports”.

Noting that Sri Lanka had briefed the Council on a regular basis on progress in the different facets of the reconciliation process detailed above, including under Item 2 – General Debate of the current session, the Deputy Permanent Representative said Sri Lanka is pleased that the High Commissioner for Human Rights was able to witness first-hand this multi-faceted nature of Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process during her recent visit, and uphold the progress already achieved.Sri Lankalooked forward to the visit of the Special Rapporteur on IDPs in December this year to review progress in resettlement, to a visit by the SR on Education in the future, and remained committed to continuing engagement with the Council, as well as sharing best practices.

Read the full text of the speech here

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