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UN Chief’s Visit To Give Reconciliation A Boost

by Easwaran Rutnam

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

The visit this week of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Sri Lanka, the most high-profile visit by a foreign delegate since this Government took office, is expected to add much needed impetus to the reconciliation process.

Ban-ki moon is to arrive in Sri Lanka on Wednesday on his first official tour to the country since the new Government took office and his second as UN chief.

The UN office said that Ban-ki moon will arrive in Sri Lanka on the 31st evening and will travel to Colombo where he will meet with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and other members of the Government and Parliament.

He will also deliver a keynote speech at a public event on the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 16, dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.

While in Sri Lanka, the Secretary-General will also visit a resettlement site in Jaffna, and participate in an event on the role of youth in reconciliation and coexistence in Galle.

The Tamil National Alliance will have talks with the Secretary-General in Jaffna and brief him on the developments.

Former Parliamentarian and Tamil National Alliance member Suresh Premachandran said that the Secretary-General should be told the current government has failed to fully implement the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka.

He said the failure to release civilian land held by the army and free all political prisoners are among the concerns the Tamils in the North still have.

The political prisoners were arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) on suspicion of having links to the LTTE.

The Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs said last week the PTA will soon be abolished and it will be replaced by the Counter Terrorism Act.

Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M Swaminathan said that the Attorney General is scheduled to submit a review on 78 trials pending under the Prevention of Terrorism Act with regard to Tamil suspects, by 15th September.

Swaminathan said that this review will consider the number of detainees that can be subjected to lesser sentences and the number of detainees that could be sent for rehabilitation.

While pointing out that the PTA will soon be abolished and it will be replaced by the Counter Terrorism Act, Minister Swaminathan said that the trials currently pending under the PTA will be dealt with in the future, under the Counter Terrorism Act.

He also said that 112 files with regard to cases under the PTA were sent to the Attorney General’s Department for advice and out of the 112, 108 cases were concluded by end of 2015.

He also noted that in 2016, 16 cases under the PTA have been received by the Attorney General’s Department for advice.

During this year 9 suspects detained under the PTA have been recommended for rehabilitation,27 have been discharged from proceedings and 7 indictments have been forwarded to the High Court.

The Minister said that commencing from 11.11.2015 up to date 39 suspects who were in remand custody for offences under the PTA, have been enlarged on bail with the sanction of the Attorney General.Minister Swaminathan pointed out that further steps are being taken by the Attorney General’s Department to review and reconsider the Cases under the PTA and added that 3 such cases were concluded this month by reducing charges to facilitate the expeditious conclusion of trials.

One other issue which may attempt to draw the spotlight during Ban ki-moon’s visit is the allegation that former LTTE cadres were injected with poison.

Army commander Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva however denied the claims and insisted there was no evidence to back the claims and so the claims were baseless.

A former LTTE cadre was reported to have made the allegation that several former LTTE cadres were injected with poison before being released into society after being rehabilitated.

The issue was later discussed at the Northern Provincial Council and Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran was to meet Prime Minister Ranul Wickremeinghe to discuss the issue.

Wigneswaran is also reported to have sought US assistance to investigate the issue but the US had turned down the request.

The Northern Province Chief Minister said that he has advised doctors in the North to look into the issue and submit a report.

The government had said earlier it is prepared to investigate the allegations that former LTTE cadres were injected with poison if the details of such former LTTE cadres is submitted to the relevant authorities.

Minister of National Dialogue Mano Ganeshan said that there is no need for Wigneswaran to take the issue to the international community as it can be investigated locally.

Ban-ki moon had visited Sri Lanka soon after the war when then President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in office.

The Secretary-General visited the IDP sites at Vavuniya and overflew the conflict area, near Mullaitivu that was the scene of the conflict.

In a joint statement following that visit President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Secretary-General agreed that addressing the aspirations and grievances of all communities and working towards a lasting political solution was fundamental to ensuring long-term socio-economic development.

The Secretary-General welcomed the assurance of the then President that a national solution acceptable to all sections of people will be evolved.

Former President Rajapaksa had expressed his firm resolve to proceed with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, as well as to begin a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties in the new circumstances, to further enhance this process and to bring about lasting peace and development in Sri Lanka.

However those commitments hardly saw any progress and this led to the international community losing faith in the government.

Following the Parliamentary elections last year, Ban Ki-moon encouraged the new government to make further progress on good governance, accountability and reconciliation.

The UN Chief had applauded the people of Sri Lanka for their peaceful and broad-based participation in the parliamentary elections of 17 August.He commended the President for having shepherded an inclusive process and the Election Commissioner for his exemplary efforts in helping guarantee the exercise of the right to vote of the people of Sri Lanka.

The Secretary-General encouraged the new government to make further progress on good governance, accountability and reconciliation.

He looked forward to continuing to work with the President, the Prime Minister, the government and the people of Sri Lanka in support of building long-term peace and prosperity for the country.

Ban Ki-moon later telephoned Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and assured the support of the United Nations to Sri Lanka.

The Secretary-General congratulated the Prime Minister on his election and commended his message of good governance and national unity. He noted that the peaceful nature of the polls as well as high voter turn-out were in part a reflection of this message.

The Secretary-General encouraged the Prime Minister and the national unity government to seize this opportunity to advance long-term peace for all Sri Lankans. He wished him success in the important task that lay before him.

 

7 Comments for “UN Chief’s Visit To Give Reconciliation A Boost”

  1. sunil vijaya

    most if these UN officials are pawns of west, CIA and Pentagon.

  2. Psycho

    No point bum sucking Monkey Moon, he is on his last legs as the Secreatary General. This guy is eying to be the next President of South Korea.

    Best option is to lick Irene Bokava who will be the next Secratary General.

    Any one with a funny name gets the Secretary Generals job.

    U Thant, Boutras Boutras Ghali, Kopi Annan etc.

  3. raj

    Mr. Ban Ki-moon,

    Please note that reconciliation is the correct term to be used in this context. Though it is labelled as reconciliation, it real meaning is covering up all crimes committed in the past by the Sri Lankan forces against Tamils.

  4. mr ban koon is most inefficient UN head for time, unfortunely srilankan tamil were killed by his weakness and support the indian government, former prime minister mr Vayapaee he was not willing to inter fear in srilanka, different country he respect the democracy, one hundred thousand people died in srilanka .responsibility is mr Bankoon.mr parab came with white flag .for peace,

  5. MR Ban koon visit is not worth for any one in the world did the mockery of srilanka political problem in multisociety ,Asian was head of UN did many mistake or purpose, better known to him, Indian prime minister MS INDRA GANTHI told LTTE is fighting for the write on human rights, MS Clinton US secretary told the world tamils are not Terrorist, prime minister mr Vajapayee told the indian government we should not interfere in neighbor country internal matters, srilanka government killed the civilian one hundred thousand came with white flaks, there is not worth development talks with srilanka tamil leaders,

  6. raj

    Mr. Bank-Ki Moon,
    Please note that Sri Lankan government’s reconciliation is a process of covering up war crimes and get blessing of UN and international community. Unlike Mahinda Rajapaksa, current government is very smart in passing time. The government only needs time to delay the war crime inquiry in order to cover up the crimes. Mr. Ban, do you know how many war criminals among the Sri Lankan forces without an inquiry conducted by UN? If you answer yes, how can ordinary Tamils in Sri Lanka know how many war criminals are among soldiers stationed in the North and East?

  7. daggy

    Ban Ki Moon, are you too a War criminal or an accomplice?

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