Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera says Sri Lanka is committed to the implementation of the UN resolution so that as a country it can deal with the past honestly and truthfully, accept that past, put it behind and then move forward to build the Sri Lankan nation anew.
Speaking at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, the Foreign Minister said that a set of actions that the Government has identified to deal with the past in a comprehensive manner, addressing the grievances of all victims, include truth seeking, justice, reparation and measures for guaranteeing non-recurrence.
As a first step, he says Sri Lanka has enacted legislation to set up an Office on Missing Persons. Now that the Consultation Task Force set up to seek the views of the public has just handed over its Report to the Government on the 3rd of January, the relevant experts of Government, in an exercise coordinated by the Secretariat that has been set up to Coordinate the Reconciliation Mechanisms will be studying the Report and finalizing the designing of a Truth-Seeking Commission and a Reparations Office.
Samaraweera said that there are divergent views even within the Government in respect of the participation of foreign judges in the proposed judicial mechanism.
However, despite this divergence of opinions, he says there is a clear consensus across the board on the need of an independent and credible domestic mechanism as promised by the manifesto of President Maithripala Sirisena.
Samaraweera says as a democratic and sovereign Government, Sri Lanka will work out the architecture of such a mechanism in consultation with all the stake holders.
He also said that much of the preparatory work for the new constitution has now been completed.
“Wide-ranging public consultations were conducted for the first time in Sri Lanka’s constitutional history; much study, reflection and negotiation was undertaken to arrive at consensus at the six sub-committees set up and final negotiations on a draft are currently underway,” he said.
The Foreign Minister said that the SLFP, and the JVP have asked for time to present their respective final proposals and the Interim Report therefore is expected to be tabled in the Constitutional Assembly in early February, for debate. (Colombo Gazette)