The government would submit the report which had listed the implementations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to the United Nations within the next two or three days, External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris told a joint news conference at the External Affairs Ministry auditorium yesterday. He was addressing the joint news conference with Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga to announce the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons learnt and Reconciliation Commission, at the auditorium of the External Affairs Ministry.
“We will be submitting this report to the United Nations within the next two or three days and the public and the international community will also be aware of the action plan we have implemented in accordance with the LLRC report’s recommendations,” Prof. Peiris said.
Meanwhile, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga told journalists that the government would establish the Fourth Land Commission in accordance with the recommendations of the LLRC which had proposed the establishment of a new Land Commission to deal with the land issues in the North and the East, following the conflict and also in relation to the issues in the land earlier held by the LTTE.
Prof. Peiris said that the government had almost completed demining the Northern Province, the resettlement of the IDPs and the reintegration of ex- LTTE combatants,
Prof. Peiris said that as many as 297,000 IDPs had been resettled within a short period of time whereas in other parts of the world similar exercises had taken decades.
By the resettlement process they meant that it was not a mere physical transfer of people from one location to another; their resettlement entailed their access to livelihoods and incomes. The government had enabled them to begin a new life with a high degree of economic contentment and satisfaction. They had not restarted their lives as bitter, disgruntled people, Prof. Peiris said. “Take the issues of ex- combatants, the government of Sri Lanka had the firm resolve to reintegrate them into society in a very compassionate manner, having exposed them to vocational training and helped them to earn their living and to lead their lives with dignity and to be useful to society at large. Over 90% of that work has been completed as well. We have also completed the difficult task of demining and almost all the High Security Zones in the North have been removed barring the only one in Palaly. The areas covered by the High Security Zone have been reduced substantially and are virtually non–operative”.
On the question of languages, there was the issue of equipping the public officials who serve in the North and the East with some knowledge of Sinhala and Tamil, the Minister said
By Ravi Ladduwahetty