Face to face consultations with stakeholders

reconciliationFace to face consultations with stakeholders throughout Sri Lanka are expected to commence early next month to design reconciliation mechanisms.

Town-hall meetings, focus group discussions and structured interviews will be part of the consultation process.

Manouri Muttetuwegama, chairperson of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms, told The Hindu that the process would go on for a few months.

At present, the Task Force is seeking through its website (http://www.scrm.gov.lk/) submissions from stakeholders concerned on the design of reconciliation mechanisms. Among the mechanisms planned by the Sri Lanka government are an Office of Missing Persons; a Truth, Reconciliation, Justice and Non-Recurrence Commission; an accountability mechanism and an Office of Reparations. During the September-October 2015 session of the UN Human Rights Council where a resolution on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka was adopted, the government mooted the idea of having the proposed mechanisms.

Meanwhile, the UN has reiterated its position for a “credible investigation” into alleged violations of human rights in the final phase of the civil war.

Asked about Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s reported comments against the participation of foreign judges to carry out the investigation, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters in New York on Monday: “We want to make sure there is a credible investigation into this. And, we have made clear what our guidelines are for what a credible investigation will entail and so we will continue to be in dialogue to make sure it happens.”

Early last month, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein had told reporters here on the issue of Sri Lanka too sponsoring the UNHRC resolution that it was the country’s commitment to both itself and to the world to confront the past honestly and, by doing that, take out comprehensive insurance against any future devastating outbreak of inter-communal tensions and conflict. (The Hindu)

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