The Sunday Leader

UPFA Yet To Reach A Stance On LLRC Recommendations


  • Five Months After Presenting To Parliament

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

LLRC Report read but no stance yet

The governing United People’s Freedom Alliance led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa is yet to formulate an official stance on the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) even five months after the report was tabled in parliament.
Albeit making diverse comments about the LLRC recommendations and its implementation, governing party  members are undecided on how to move forward with the report presented by a commission appointed by the President.
The implementation of the LLRC report, which was identified by the government  as the country’s mechanism to address concerns raised by the  international community and the way forward in bringing about reconciliation to post war Sri Lanka, is at a standstill due to the government’s failure to move forward.
It is the government’s failure to act on its own report that resulted in the adoption of a US backed resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva in March this year.
Realising the pressure from the international community on reconciliation in Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa last month summoned a party leaders’ meeting of the UPFA where he said the need for the Alliance to formulate an official stance on the LLRC recommendations and its implementation.
The party leaders were asked to go  back to their parties and prepare a report on the respective party’s stance on the LLRC recommendations and the proposed method of implementation. The President asked the party leaders to submit the reports to the Presidential Secretariat by April 23, but later extended the deadline till April 28 after most coalition partners requested for more time. However, even by the first week of May, the Presidential Secretariat had not received the reports of many key coalition parties like the SLFP, SLMC, JHU and the EPDP.
The JHU even after preparing its report is taking great efforts to fine-tune it in order to prevent any issues afterwards.
Only a few parties such as the Communist Party (CP) and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LLSP) that have handed  their reports to the Secretariat.
The Presidential Secretariat is to prepare a final report that would include the stances of each coalition party  and the method of implementation. The Sunday Leader spoke to some of the key coalition members of the UPFA about the progress made in formulating the stances of the respective parties on the issue.
SLFP General Secretary, Minister Maithripala Sirisena:
“The SLFP is currently preparing a report on its stances on the LLRC recommendations  and its implementation. Following the Presidential directive, a committee including myself has been assigned the task of formulating the report. We plan to conclude it this week and are hopeful of handing it over to the Presidential Secretariat by the end of the week.”
JHU Deputy General Secretary and Western Provincial Council Minister Udaya Gammanpila:
“The JHU’s Education Secretary has  prepared the on the party’s views on the LLRC recommendations, but is yet to be finalised. The party members met last Thursday night to discuss the report, but it needs to be fine tuned before finalisation. We must first reach a consensus among ourselves before finalising the report. I cannot comment on the party views since they are yet being discussed. We are looking at handing over the report after the Vesak holidays, maybe around the 8th. We have to be very mindful of the fact that all attention would be paid to what the JHU has to say and we need to treat the matter with sensitivity.”
SLMC Leader, Minister Rauf Hakeem:
“SLMC will give its report by the end  of the week. I don’t think any one could contest the veracity of the findings. It is the mode and method of implementation and the credible mechanisms that could be created that may be critical. Our focus would be on those aspects. With the Universal Periodic Review due in Geneva for October and November and regular high level segments in late February next year, we should put our best forward and try to impress upon those doomsday prophets and cynics that we are a responsible member of the international community.
“LLRC is our own commission. There was so much cynicism when the commission was appointed. It is unfortunate that some blame the commission as having exceeded its mandate while some in the international community are also not happy with the finding on accountability issues. But any attempt at retributive justice would only further polarize this nation. I would rather suggest a mechanism such as the Truth Commission in South Africa maybe a better way to reconcile the differences.”
EPDP Leader, Minister Douglas Devananda:
“The EPDP is not preparing any report since I have not been informed of any such directive by the President. I will discuss with the President about the matter. However, we have announced that the EPDP welcomes the LLRC report and its recommendations.
The LLRC’s recommendations on the political solution are similar to the EPDP’s proposals for the past 20 years. Nevertheless, the EPDP will initiate legal action against a certain statement on the party. The LLRC has made a reference to the EPDP without seeking my response. I went before the LLRC and gave my submissions; the Commission could have  questioned me on any concerns. Instead they have referred to the party. I have already raised this issue in parliament and have also tabled the audio cassette of the transcript of my submissions to the Commission.”
CP General Secretary, Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera:
“We recommend the full implementation of the LLRC recommendations. The CP handed its report on the LLRC recommendations and its implementation on April 23rd. The party does not have any serious concerns over the LLRC recommendations. However, we have recommended the formulation of a policy on state land issues. We have said the policy should be formulated in three categories, providing land to the landless giving priority to the landless in within the respective district, then the neighboring districts and to the landless in other districts while maintain the ethnic balance. We say that a Commission should be appointed to handle the land issues in keeping with the land policy of the late Dudley Senanayake. As for police powers, it is already part of the country’s law since its inclusion in the 13th Amendment. However, the full implementation of the police powers could be delayed since the present political culture is not conducive for it. We have also proposed radical constitutional changes that go beyond the LLRC like the abolishing of the Executive Presidency and amending the current electoral system.”
LSSP General Secretary, Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana:
“The LSSP report was handed in on April 23. We consider the LLRC as a comprehensive and full set of recommendations and we feel it has in a reasonable way looked to the cause of the conflict and ways and means of overcoming such issues in future. It has also  addressed the issue of reconciliation. As far as implementation is concerned, the government has already implemented certain proposals and some are being implemented. However, there are also proposals that have not been implemented.
Therefore, the implementation of the re commendations should be done urgently. As for the political solution to the national question, it should be done through discussion.
There has already been the APRC and the government says that a select committee of parliament would work out a consensus on the solution. In reference to the accountability issue, we agree with the LLRC stance. However, there should be a committee or a commission that needs to look into the allegations. Rather than assigning the task to the military, it would have been better for a committee or a commission with civilian representation to address the matter since it would have given confidence.”

4 Comments for “UPFA Yet To Reach A Stance On LLRC Recommendations”

  1. love2beTRAITOR

    y is it so slow. after an year, yet to make a decision? come on, how long does it take to read the recommendations n make a decision? a kid studying grade 5 have to read, understand n ans questions in exam from 8 big books like that.

  2. Betrayer from the West

    Keep delaying and economic sanctions from the west will prevail. Soon third workd poverty stricken SL will be eating sand and stones.

  3. kingkong

    When will he finish reading the booklet on LLRC?

  4. Roy

    Appreciate CP and LSSP stance on the implementation of LLRC recommendations without any reservation and appointing a new commission to see MR and Gota committed any War crimes and Gota’s involement in Politics being a Public servant

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