Sri Lanka against internationalization of the reconciliation process

The government says it is against the internationalization of the post war reconciliation process.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN Dr. Palitha Kohona said that Sri Lanka must have the time and space to complete the reconciliation process that has already seen tremendous progress.

He said this while addressing the UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, the Permanent Mission to Sri Lanka at the UN said.

“Sri Lanka will continue to take all necessary measures to heal the wounds of conflict on its own, as the internationalization of the reconciliation process, would only result in stymying the progress, particularly since it is a domestically developed process,” he told the Council.

He also said that the government has taken firm action against reported cases of violence against women and girls during the conflict and the post-conflict period.

During the conflict period (January 2007 – May 2009), 7 Security Forces personnel were reported as having been involved in 5 incidents of sexual violence in the North. This is out of a total of 125 persons accused in 119 incidents for the entirety of the Northern Province.

In the post conflict period (May 2009 – May 2012) 10 Security Forces personnel were reported as having been involved in 6 incidents of sexual violence in the North. This is out of a total of 307 persons accused in 256 incidents for the entire Northern Province.

Dr. Kohona said that the involvement of Security Forces personnel as a percentage of the total accused stands at 5.6% in the conflict period and 3.3% in the post- conflict period.

“Legal action has been taken by the Government in all of the above cases in which the Sri Lankan Security Forces personnel have been involved. The military has taken stringent action, including discharging offenders or imposing other punishments. Furthermore, cases have also been filed in normal criminal courts. In a majority of the above cases, the perpetrators have been close relatives or neighbours of the victim,” he said.

Dr. Kohona noted that civil society and the media have given wide coverage to the offending incidents and in a small conservative society such as Sri Lanka, the media coverage would ensure effective social ostracisation of offenders.  (Colombo Gazette)