The Sunday Leader

Govt. Must Present Road Map For Implementing Recommendations In LLRC Report

By Jayantha Dhanapala & Prof. Savitri Goonesekere
(for and on behalf of Friday Forum)

Prof. Savitri Goonesekere and Prof. Jayantha Dhanapala

The Friday Forum is an informal gathering of public spirited persons wishing to contribute to the future development of Sri Lanka within a framework of democracy, social justice and pluralism. It is in that spirit that we wish to share some of our concerns with the wider public
The Friday Forum welcomed the setting up of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and co-operated constructively by making representations before it.
In November 2011, the Commission produced its final report which, though not meeting all our expectations, could form the basis for building national reconciliation in our country. We now wish to stress the importance of the early implementation of the recommendations, especially those flagged by the Commission for immediate and short-term implementation.
In his National Day speech on 4th February 2012, President Rajapakse endorsed the Commission’s view that all citizens were responsible for ensuring the success of reconciliation. He also confirmed that the implementation process of the Commission’s recommendations had already commenced. The Friday Forum welcomes this and, in furtherance of this process, urges immediate action to:
A. have the LLRC report translated and published in Sinhala and Tamil,
B. request the Speaker to arrange for a comprehensive debate in Parliament on the Report, and
C. encourage all print and electronic media to give the widest publicity to the report, and to create public awareness and dialogue over the report and its recommendations.
We earnestly appeal to the government to proceed with the implementation of the key recommendations of the LLRC. This will serve to strengthen the credibility of the government in fulfilling its commitment to create an environment of trust and reconciliation within our country and among all people. Some matters in the LLRC report that need immediate attention are:
1. releasing the report of the Udalagama Commission of Inquiry into killings, including that of the five students in Trincomalee and the seventeen aid workers in Mutur,
2. making available names of detainees and missing persons in regard to whom there is documented information of death, and
3. taking measures to prevent abductions and investigating such allegations as a matter of urgency and prosecuting offenders.
These are measures within the immediate competence of the government, given the intelligence and security apparatus that exists.
In September 2010, the LLRC made some interim recommendations and the Cabinet appointed an Inter-Agency Advisory Committee for the implementation of those recommendations. The IAAC has produced a ‘progress report’ that we find totally inadequate as it fails to detail any concrete action taken by it after it was set up seventeen months ago.
We understand that the cabinet approved a National Human Rights Action Plan in September 2011 and a ministerial sub-committee was appointed to implement it. We urge the release of this Action Plan in all three languages for discussion and for creating public confidence in the Plan.
It is also now necessary for the Government to draw up and present to the public an action plan or road map for the implementation of the LLRC recommendations. It is also important that this should be done in a transparent and non-partisan manner. For effective implementation, we would urge the setting up of an independent and credible mechanism, preferably by an Act of Parliament. Such a statutory body should be free of direct political control and be provided with adequate financial and human resources to effectively carry out their functions. After decades of internecine conflict, almost from the time of our independence from colonial rule, our country now faces many challenges, particularly in the areas of promoting reconciliation among communities, reducing economic hardships and eliminating lawlessness. The Friday Forum urges that the present opportunity be seized to rebuild trust and partnership among all our people so that we can move forward with our common agenda for peace in our country

Co-Signatories Of The Friday Forum
The Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera
Prof. Arjuna Auwihare
Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere
Manouri Muttetuwegama
Dr. A C Visvalingam
Dr. G Usvatte-Aratchi
Dr. Devanesan Nesiah
Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda
Dr. Deepika Udugama
Sithie Tiruchelvam
Anne Abayasekera
Damaris Wickremasekera
Jayampathy Wickremaratne
Camena Guneratne
Ranjini Obeyesekere
Ahilan Kadirgamar
J. C. Weliamuna
Tissa Jayatilaka
Mahen Dayananda
H. D. Wijenandana
Danesh Casie Chetty
Chandra Jayaratne
Lanka Nesiah

2 Comments for “Govt. Must Present Road Map For Implementing Recommendations In LLRC Report”

  1. Shiva

    Everyone knows that the resolution is quite weak due to the current Indian regime trying protect the Rajapakse regime and the Rajapakse regime was trying hard to buy time and misleading other nations.

    In October, the same issue will be tabled and those voted against the resolution will be questioned about the intention and the unreasonable delay of fulfilling the LLRC recommendations although the International community has already said that it falls short of International standards.

    The Human Rights abuses in Tamil areas will be an issue not only at the next UNHRC meeting but also in the future meetings until UN Panel recommendations are addressed. In the meantime, there will be lawsuits like the Global Tamil Forum against the British Government to exclude Prasanna Silva and the Lawyers are reviewing in Australia, US, Canada and EU on similar cases.

    Further the Italian and Netherland courts have concluded that the LTTE was not a terrorist organization and it was fighting for freedom (Freedom fighters). Similar cases are likely to be filed in other western nations as this may clear the name of the LTTE. The decision to ban the LTTE is political than fair justice as the Sri Lankan regime was committing far more atrocities and crimes against humanity.

    The world is watching Sri Lanka regime’s moves and it is going to be difficult for the alleged criminals just hold on to power without accountability as the victims are demanding for Justice. This would not have happened without the support and the contribution of the good Sinhala armed forces, media, human rights groups and people who provided the International community with evidences of war crimes, crimes against humanity and human rights abuses.

  2. Father S.J.Emmanuel

    I appreciate very much the clear stance of the Friday Forum. I have met some of you in person either inside or outside Sri Lanka. You are a body of intellectuals and professionals called to be leading-light for a better future in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately there are not enough of your type. The majority of our intellectuals are silent or unconcerned and the words of the Protestant Pastor Neil Moller of Germany can open their hearts and minds. I wish you all great courage in your mission.
    Father S.J.Emmanuel

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