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FeaturesNewsIndia Welcomes Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission of Sri Lanka and Urges Implementation of Recommendations

India Welcomes Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission of Sri Lanka and Urges Implementation of Recommendations

This is the text of an official communique released by the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA), India on December 25 th2011- In response to a question the Official Spokesperson (MEA) said:    The report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), was tabled by the Government of Sri Lanka in its Parliament on 16 December. While we are still studying the report which runs into over 400 pages, I can share with you some initial comments on its contents.

2. The Government of India welcomes the public release of the LLRC report and takes note of the assurance given by the Government of Sri Lanka in Parliament about implementation of many of its recommendations.

3. The LLRC has recommended various constructive measures for addressing issues related to healing the wounds of the conflict and fostering a process of lasting peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. In particular, we have noted the proposed measures pertaining to information on missing persons and detainees, investigation of cases of disappearances and abductions, promotion of a trilingual policy, deployment of Tamil-speaking officers in all offices, curbing activities of illegal armed groups, reduction of high security zones, return of private lands by the military and demilitarization , including phasing out of the involvement of the security forces in civilian activities and restoration of civilian administration in the Northern Province. We have noted the assurance given by the Government of Sri Lanka in Parliament that it will ensure the withdrawal of security forces from all aspects of community life and confine their role exclusively to security matters.

4. Implementation of assurances to ensure speedy resettlement and genuine reconciliation, including early completion of the process of the return of Internally Displaced Persons and refugees to their respective homes, restoration of normal civilian life in affected areas would mark a major step forward in the process of reconciliation.

5. The LLRC report has underlined that the present situation provides a great window of opportunity to forge a consensual way forward towards reconciliation through a political settlement based on devolution of power. It recognises that a political solution is imperative to addressing the root cause of the conflict and notes that the Government should provide leadership to a political process which must be pursued for the purpose of establishing a framework for ensuring sustainable peace and security in the post-conflict environment.

6. In this context, we have been assured by the Government of Sri Lanka on several occasions in the past, of its commitment towards pursuit of a political process, through a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil National Alliance, leading to the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, and to go beyond, so as to achieve meaningful devolution of powers and genuine national reconciliation. We hope that the Government of Sri Lanka recognising the critical importance of this issue acts decisively and with vision in this regard. We will remain engaged with them through this process and offer our support in the spirit of partnership.

7. We have also noted the Government of Sri Lanka’s intention to set up a mechanism to carry out further investigations relating to instances of alleged human rights violations and incidents involving loss of civilian life. It is important to ensure that an independent and credible mechanism is put in place to investigate allegations of human rights violations, as brought out the LLRC, in a time-bound manner.

New Delhi
 December 25, 2011

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