Sri Lanka wants ‘domestic inquiry without outside pressure’ says minister

commission of inquirySri Lanka should be allowed to hold a domestic investigation into alleged human rights violations during the final stages of the country’s war against the LTTE without international pressure, State Minister of Finance and UPFA Kalutara District candidate Mahinda Samarasinghe said yesterday.

Addressing a press conference at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI), to announce the launch of his new book Samarasinghe said Sri Lanka must implement some more recommendations of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), before September, to face the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) report on the international probe against Sri Lanka successfully.

Samarasinghe stressed the need to adopt a new foreign policy after considering the country’s requirements. Sri Lanka should develop strong relations with all countries, President Sirisena was being able to relate to all countries, especially India, Russia and European member states.

Samarasinghe said after a war, a government would take several years to promote reconciliation, cohabitation, brotherhood and friendship among the people. Therefore Sri Lanka should be allowed to address its issues through a domestic inquiry without international pressure.

“Still Sri Lanka doesn’t know what’s in the report. However a copy of the report will be sent to Sri Lanka before they take it up at the UNHRC session. Thereafter Sri Lanka could examine the content of the report. I hope to represent Sri Lanka in September as I have ten years’ experience in the area,” Minister Samarasinghe said.

He also said that a person should work for the best interests of the country and therefore politicians should be very careful of what they were talking at the election rallies.

In order to face the challenges before Sri Lanka, it was important to bring Right to Information Act, fully implementation of 19th Amendment and introduce the 20th Amendment to the Constitution besides empowering civil society, he added.

Minister Samarasinghe will launch his new book titled, A Sri Lankan Voice in the Global Arena, a collection speeches he delivered in Parliament, International Human Rights Council, United Nations Sessions and other fora, during past three decades. The launch will take place under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena on August 7 at the BMICH. Former Speaker of Parliament and former governor of the Sabaragamuwa Province W. J. M. Lokubandara will deliver the guest speech. (The Island)

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