Sri Lanka today assured that it will address the core issues behind the war.
Foreign Minister, Professor G.L Peiris told Parliament today that he had recently informed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that Sri Lanka is committed to achieving tangible progress on the entire range of issues relating to accountability, reconciliation, human rights, peace and sustainable development.
He said the Government has taken the position that they do recognise the need to address these challenges and, in that effort, it needs to be open and responsive to constructive criticism and international overtures made in good faith.
“That being said, Mr Speaker, we do not need to compromise our independence, national sovereignty nor our self-respect as a nation,” the Foreign Minister said.
The Foreign Minister said that recent overseas visits by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and himself as the Foreign Minister, provided them with the opportunity to address the international community at bilateral and multilateral levels regarding recent domestic developments and difficulties they have faced in Sri Lanka on critical national issues related to human rights and reconciliation and to correct any inaccurate or biased perceptions.
The Minister said that Sri Lanka’s continued and vigorous efforts to place on record Sri Lanka’s experience, perceptions and position demonstrates the approach of openness, candour and willingness to engage.
“We reaffirmed our commitment to democratic norms, ideals and commonly shared values from the standpoint of a nation consistently adhering to this system for nine decades; as one of the oldest representative democracies in Asia,” he said.
The Foreign Minister said that the President was pleased to empower a Commission to take stock of the various efforts aimed at reconciliation and accountability over the past several years and arrive at a conclusion and recommendations.
“We are doing all this with sincerity and seriousness of purpose to enable a brighter, more prosperous and peaceful Sri Lanka for succeeding generations of sons and daughters of our soil,’ he said.
Professor G.L Peiris also noted that civil society are an integral part of the solutions Sri Lanka hopes to devise.
“There have been concerns raised about the supposed government initiatives to stifle NGO activities in Sri Lanka. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are actively engaged with the community and are seeking to harness their capabilities and undoubted capacity in support of reconciliation and with regard to SDG16 processes,” he said.
The Foreign Minister also said that the Government is taking all measures in close collaboration with international partners to ensure human security in its widest sense. (Colombo Gazette)