Draft reconciliation policy to be released

A draft policy on National Reconciliation has been prepared by Office of the Presidential Advisor on Reconciliation.

The 12 page document authored by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha and Salma Yusuf, covers Political Participation and Administrative Accountability, Recovery and Equitable Development, Truth, Justice and Understanding and Implementation, the Office of the Presidential Advisor on Reconciliation said yesterday.

The draft policy notes that as a result of the long-standing strife and struggle, two key challenges remain to be addressed so as to propel the country towards enduring and sustainable peace and prosperity. It says the root causes of the conflict need solutions which are satisfactory to all the communities and peoples of Sri Lanka and secondly there is a need to dispel suspicions and weld all communities into and within the fabric of one nation.

The draft policy calls for the establishment of a multi-stakeholder institutional mechanism to promote and monitor the reconciliation process. The work of this mechanism shall be reviewed by a Parliamentary Select Committee and the mechanism will cease to exist at the end of three years unless Parliament decides otherwise.

The policy also states that while acknowledging the need for the nation to collectively empathize with all victims of the conflict, whether civilian or soldiers, or whether they belong to Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or other communities, the State should set apart a separate event on Independence Day to express solidarity and empathy with all victims of the tragic conflict and to pledge a collective commitment to ensure that there is no return or relapse to such atrocities ever again.

It also says the government shall work comprehensively and cohesively to implement the National Action Plan on Human Rights that has been adopted by Cabinet, with particular attention to improving the capacities of and faith in the police, to ensuring better protection mechanisms for women and children, and to streamlining the judicial system to promote confidence in its operations and a reduction of rote remanding. (Colombo Gazette)