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Activists want panel report implemented

Rights groups have urged the government to implement all the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in the wake of last month’s US sponsored Geneva resolution.  The people’s participation in the process must also be addressed, they say.

The resolution on Sri Lanka passed at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 22, called on the government to implement the measures in the report to address the issues of post-war transformation of the country.

The LLRC was set up by the government in 2010 to look into alleged abuses during the latter stages of the civil war and what needs to be done for national reconciliation.

However, soon after the resolution, the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, Nimal Siripala de Silva, told a press conference the government will only implement several measures recommended by the panel.

This week, about 15 NGOs voiced concern that the key role of the LLRC report in addressing both international and national concerns has not been given sufficient attention and that the government has so far not made a comprehensive response to the resolution.

“People need to be brought into the discussion regarding the rebuilding of post-war Sri Lanka. There is much that needs to be done to take the LLRC’s message to the public by educating them on the contents of the LLRC report,” said Shanthi Sachchithanandan, director of the People’s Rights Movement.

The Tamil activist was speaking on Monday at a forum in Colombo called: National reconciliation in the post-Geneva context, organized by the Christian Alliance for Social Action (CASA).

“It is unfortunate that more than four months after its appearance, the report remains inaccessible to the majority of the country’s people,” he said adding that the government is “duty bound to implement the recommendations.”

He and others at the forum called on the government to take steps to fulfill its legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all.

“We need to encourage people to raise their voices to pressure the government into implementing the panel’s recommendations,” said Ainsley Joseph, convener of CASA

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