GL-Clinton Deal On LLRC Implementation Revealed
“The process of reconciliation requires a full acknowledgement of the tragedy of the conflict and a collective act of contrition by the political leaders and civil society, of both Sinhala and Tamil communities. The conflict could have been avoided had the southern political leaders of the two main political parties acted in the national interest and forged a consensus between them to offer an acceptable solution to the Tamil people. The Tamil political leaders were equally responsible for this conflict which could have been avoided had the Tamil leaders refrained from promoting an armed campaign towards secession, acquiescing in the violence and terrorist methods used by the LTTE against both the Sinhala and Tamil people, and failing to come out strongly and fearlessly against the LTTE, and their atrocious practices.” — Report by Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (p. 387)
By Frederica Jansz
Despite repeated denials by External Affairs Minister Prof G. L. Peiris and his Monitoring Minister Sachin Vaas Gunewardena, The Sunday Leader today has exclusively secured a copy of the original document that was the basis for discussion between Peiris and United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington in May this year.
The meeting lasted about 35 minutes and the Foreign Minister presented a detailed plan for the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
However, since his return both Peiris and his team vehemently denied the existence of such a document refusing to divulge details or that such a document even existed.
In the backdrop of opposition political parties accusing Prof. Peiris of having presented a “secret plan” to Clinton, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, while publicly saying that out of the 135 main recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), 33 would be implemented, also denied that Hilary Clinton had indeed been shown a document which detailed implementation of these recommendations.
The document with the heading ‘The way forward in regard to the report of the Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation-LLRC’ was the basis for the talks between a three member delegation led by Peiris and American officials led by Clinton at the State Department in Washington, DC on May 18 this year.
Peiris was compelled to travel to Washington to placate the Americans following US pressure that Sri Lanka be held accountable for the implementation of the LLRC proposals.
After Peiris had briefed Clinton, a US State Department spokeswoman at a subsequent media briefing said:
“The Secretary encouraged a really transparent, open, public process, not only on the LLRC specifically and its implementation, but also with regard to accountability; to strengthen reconciliation, public confidence inside and outside Sri Lanka in the process; and frankly, to speed the healing of the country. So she really – she said good plan, now you really need to make it public; now you really need to show your people, the world, the concrete implementation steps going forward.
“She also stressed the importance, as she always does, of demilitarizing the north; of getting to the provincial elections in the north; protection of human rights, including protection of the press; and generally the creation of an environment that’s inclusive; engagement and the creation of space for civil society along the lines of what she talked about globally earlier in the week.”
The LLRC was appointed by Pesident Mahinda Rajapaksa to stall threats by western countries to appoint an international panel. The LLRC was mandated to look back at the armed conflict with the LTTE covering the period of February 2002 and May 2009. It was the main focal point in the US backed Resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in March.
According to the document shown to the American government 33 of 135 main recommendation of the LLRC are to be to be implemented at national level. Some of these include, that further investigations should be carried out regarding four particular incidents which caused death or injury to civilians, on possible implication of the security forces.
A professionally designed household survey should be conducted covering all affected families in all parts of the island to ascertain firsthand the scale and the circumstances of death and injury to civilians, as well as damage to property during the period of the conflict.
To prepare a centralized and comprehensive database containing a list of detainees and make that available to their next of kin. All illegal armed groups should be disarmed.
To grant the legal ownership of land to those who have been resettled.
In instances where there is prima facie evidence of conscription of children as combatants (by both LTTE and TMVP), any such alleged cases should be investigated and offenders must be brought to justice.
Increased employment opportunities should be provided to those in the former conflict affected areas.
An inter-agency task force mandated to addressing the needs of vulnerable groups like women, children, elderly and disabled, must be established.
Investigate and inquire into alleged incidents of serious violations of human rights including the 2006 Trincomalee massacre and the 2006 massacre of 17 aid workers.
The land policy of the governments should not be an instrument to effect unnatural changes in the demographic pattern of a given province. (see box)
• Further investigations should be carried out regarding four particular incidents which caused death or injury to civilians, on possible implication of the security forces.
• Necessary investigations should be carried out into specific allegations of disappearances after surrender/arrest, and where such investigations produce evidence of any unlawful act on the part of individual members of the Army, the wrongdoers should be prosecuted and punished.
• Take due account on surrendered LTTE cadres against whom investigations reveal prima facie material for prosecution.
• IHL regime should take into account the grey areas in the existing legal framework applicable to internal conflicts involving states and non state armed groups.
• A professionally designed household survey should be conducted covering all affected families in all parts of the island to ascertain firsthand the scale and the circumstances of death and injury to civilians, as well as damage to property during the period of the conflict.
• Institute an independent investigation into Channel 4 videos.
• A special commissioner should be appointed to investigate alleged disappearances and provide material to the Attorney general to initiate criminal proceedings as appropriate.
• Death certificates should be issued and monetary recompense should be provided where necessary. Steps should be taken to effectively implement the amendment to the Registration of Deaths Act (2006).
• Appoint an independent advisory committee to monitor and examine detention and arrest of persons under any regulations made under the Public Security Ordinance or the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
• Domestic legislation should be framed to specifically criminalize enforced or involuntary disappearances.
• Prepare a centralized and comprehensive database containing a list of detainees and make that available to their next of kin.
• All illegal armed groups should be disarmed.
• Grant the legal ownership of land to those who have been resettled.
• In instances where there is prima facie evidence of conscription of children as combatants (by both LTTE and TMVP), any such alleged cases should be investigated and offenders must be brought to justice.
• Increased employment opportunities should be provided to those in the former conflict affected areas.
• An inter-agency task force mandated to addressing the needs of vulnerable groups like women, children, elderly and disabled, must be established.
• Investigate and inquire into alleged incidents of serious violations of human rights including the 2006 Trincomalee massacre and the 2006 massacre of 17 aid workers.
• The land policy of the governments should not be an instrument to effect unnatural changes in the demographic pattern of a given province.
• A National Land Commission (NLC) should be established in order to propose appropriate future national land policy guidelines.
• All political parties should arrive at a bipartisan understanding on national land policy and recognize it as a national issue. Land policy should not be used as a tool to gain narrow political advantage.
• The role and capacity of the Rehabilitation of Persons, Properties and Industries Authority (REPPIA) should be reviwed, giving its primary focus in providing compensatory relief for persons affected by the conflict. Ex-LTTE combatants and next of kin should also be considered eligible for compensatory relief.
• Involvement of the security forces in civilian activities in North Eastern Province should be phased out. Private lands should be used giving reasonable time lines.
• A proper investigation should be carried out on the alleged involvement of Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman and Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan in the 1990 massacre of Sri Lankan Police officers.
• A full investigation should be done on the alleged acts of extortion committed by members of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP).
• Steps should be taken to neutralise the activities of a gang led by a person called Major Seelan in connection with offences of abduction, extortion and robbery using the security forces facilities as a cover.
• Units of the Attorney General’s department should be set up in the provinces to guide and advise the Police regarding criminal investigations, prosecutions and other matters touching upon the criminal justice system.
• An independent Public Service Commission should be established without delay to ensure that there is no political interference in the public service.
• A good-faith effort should be taken to develop a consensus on power devolution, building on what exists – both, for maximum possible devolution to the periphery, as well as power sharing at the centre.
• Learning of each others’ languages should be made a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
• All Government offices should have Tamil-speaking officers at all times. Police Stations should have bi-lingual officers on a 24-hour basis.
• A proactive policy should be implemented to encourage mixed schools serving children from different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
• Government should engage with the so-called ‘hostile diaspora groups’ constructively and address their concerns.
• National anthem should be sung simultaneously in two languages to the same tune.
• Laws should be strictly enforced on the instances of hate speech that contributes to communal disharmony.
• A separate event should be set apart on the National Day (4 February) to express solidarity and empathy with all victims of the tragic conflict and pledge the collective commitment to ensure that there should never be such blood-letting in the country again.
The Document Taken To Hillary Clinton By Prof. Peiris…
A Task Force headed by the Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka would monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC.
I. It will function under the Presidential Secretariat and a group of officials (already identified by the GOSL but unknown to us) has already been identified.
2. Short term measures will be implemented and GOSL organizations will be directed to complete their mandated work in a definite time frame.
3. Medium and Long Term implemented will be monitored by the same task force
4. GOSL has categorized 285 recommendations into 4 categories (IMPORTANT FRAMEWORK):
I. Recommendations relating to National Policy (33 Main recommendations)
• GOSL expects that the “proposed PSC would deliberate on those issues that need interventions by the legislature and chart a course of actions that will result in any required amendments to the constitution of Sri Lanka as well as any other laws” .
• “Those that can be implemented without such interventions by the PSC and the legislature will be acted upon by the appropriate agency / agencies.”
II. Recommendations pertaining to the final phase of the conflict (8 main recommendations forming core of recommendations of this category – “there may be others that fall into the other 3 categories)
• “Appropriate government institutions with the Ministry of Defense leading, would institute suitable mechanisms to address these recommendations and if necessary place some issues before the PSC as a political debate would be necessary in regard to giving effect to these”
III. Recommendations related to human rights and national security concerns (28 main recommendations
• Will involve a large number of ministries, departments and other agencies within the government.
• Necessity to collaborate with civil society groups in giving effect to some of the recommendations.
IV. Recommendations related to resettlement and development (majority of recommendations fall into this category)
• Large number of ministries + “provincial, district and divisions entities”
• Implementation will be monitored by the already established Presidential Task Force on Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province.
• There will be sub category classifications for different recommendations in this section. They are classified as follows:
Sub Category Number of Recommendations
A . Reconciliation 4
B . Language Policy 6
C . Education 8
D . Religion 4
E . Arts and Culture 5
F . People to People contact 2
G . Vulnerable Groups 7
H . Assistance to resettled families 1
I . Land issues 15
J . Refugees from India 1
K . Muslim IDP’s 3
L . Sinhala IDP’s 2
M . Long term IDP’s (Old) 1
N . Compensation and Monetary relief 1
O . Resettlement assistance 5
P . Indian Tamils 1
5. 4 Main categories cover 135 recommendations. Main recommendations contain sub recommendations and this is the reason for the “disparity between the quoted and much publicized figure of 285 recommendations and this figure of 135”
[VERIFICATION AND ANALYSIS NEEDED TO DETERMINE WHETHER THIS IS CORRECT]
6. There will be a periodic reporting mechanism to the Cabinet of Ministers on the progress of the implementation of recommendations (short, medium and long term). This will be instituted soon.