“Having experienced war, we must understand the need to give priority to the reconciliation process,” Mr. Sirisena said in his “Remembrance Day” address.
In a veiled criticism of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s stress on physical infrastructural development to the neglect of emotional reconciliation after the war, the President said: “Though damaged buildings, destroyed roads and other physical resources were being re-built, there was no reconciliation process in the post-war period to rebuild broken hearts and minds.” He then pledged that his Ggovernment will combine development and reconciliation.
Delineating his concept of reconciliation, the President said: “The reconciliation process includes investigating the truth, providing justice, eliminating fear, and building trust between communities, besides re-building physical resources which were devastated by the armed conflict.”
Reconciliation will be pursued on a war footing. “The government is committed to proceeding with the reconciliation process in the way in which the tri-forces, police and civil security force carried out their commitment to fighting the war to the finish,” the Sri Lankan President pledged. Sirisena said a new national security system and plan are being worked out to prevent another war.
The President pledged his support for the military as he marked six years since the end of the civil war on Tuesday, a day after his predecessor accused him of forgetting the country’s “war heroes.” He pledged to ensure that the Tamil Tigers, would never raised their heads again. “I have the fullest confidence in you to safeguard the security of our motherland,” he said, accusing his rivals of spreading “false propaganda” against the Government.
Attending a commemoration, Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa accused the Government of forgetting the troops who were responsible for crushing the LTTE’s 30-year campaign.
“Please take revenge from me, put me in jail, but do not forget the heroic forces,” Mr. Rajapaksa, who is currently trying to make a political comeback, told the gathering.