President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that 50 per cent of the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) had been implemented in line with the government’s post-war national reconciliation policy. Commenting on the National Action Plan to implement LLRC recommendations as regards international humanitarian law issues, President Rajapaksa emphasized that the implementation of LLRC recommendations had not been prompted by the passage of a UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka in March.
The President made the observations while meeting editors of national newspapers and senior representatives of the electronic media at Temple Trees.
He was joined by External Affairs Minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake.
The US sponsored Resolution Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka was approved at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva last March.
When it was pointed out that Sri Lanka had been under pressure since the passage of the resolution, the President reminded the gathering that it was he who had appointed the LLRC and wanted its recommendations implemented. He stressed that the government had done a lot of ground work befrore the UNHRC summit. “Unfortunately what we have done is not conveyed to the world,” the President lamented.
Asked why the government couldn’t hold the first election to the Northern Provincial Council along with elections to the Eastern PC, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the ongoing efforts by the government and the international community to resettle and rehabilitate those displaced during the conflict had to be completed.
Minister Rajapaksa said that the international community had divided the IDPs into two broad categories––the old and new. They assisted the government resettle the new IDPs meaning those affected during eelam war IV and they did not help others.
The minister said that the elections could be held once the resettlement was over.
The President said elections to the Northern PC would be held in September 2013.