Feb 13, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today assured the diplomatic community that his government will not hesitate to punish the offenders of human rights violations said to have taken place during the war after the conduct of a credible domestic inquiry through a judicial process into the allegations.
Meeting with the diplomatic corps in Colombo Friday, President Sirisena said foreign policy of the present government is to strengthen the cooperation with all countries and international organizations that extend support to all communities.
He said the policy of the new government is to work in cooperation with international organizations.
Soliciting the support of other countries for the development work launched in the country, the President said his government is always ready to extend every possible support to those countries which support Sri Lanka.
He emphasized that the funds for development work in the country will be expended in a transparent manner.
The process to slash unlimited executive powers of the presidency by making the necessary constitutional reforms and to strengthen the parliament is already underway, the President noted.
He pointed out that there are certain shortcomings and failures in the current political system of the country, although the democracy has been ensured.
Addressing Sri Lanka’s human rights issues, the President informed the diplomats that the government has planned to move a Bill on the Right to Information (RTI) in its 100 day program.
He noted that the RTI Act is an action taken by the government to safeguard the basic rights of the people and the democracy of the country and the preliminary activities in this regard have already been taken.
The RTI is a measure recommended in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’s report.
The government has decided to hand over thousand acres of land situated in north and east provinces as well as near the President’s residence and Temple trees which had been declared as high security zones during the war, the President told the foreign envoys.
The President reiterated government’s commitment to conduct an internal investigation into alleged human rights abuses. He said legal action will be taken if anyone is found guilty of violating human rights.
President Sirisena added that based on the initiatives of the government to protect human rights, the government has invited the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner to engage in a tour of Sri Lanka.
Referring to the initiatives taken through the Interim Budget to uplift the living standards of the people, the President told the foreign diplomats that his government would honor the pledges given to the people.
The President called on the foreign diplomats to extend their unstinted support to the development work of the country.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ajith P Perera, Secretary to the President P.B. Abeykoon and the officers of Foreign Ministry were also present at this occasion.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)