New secretariat for coordinating reconciliation   

Friday, 18 December 2015 00:29 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

The Government has decided to establish a Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms, Cabinet Spokesperson and Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday.

Aiming to reap the maximum out of the currently stable political situation in the country, the Cabinet observed  that the most valuable opportunity gained by Sri Lanka to achieve  reconciliation and gain lasting peace  could not be used successfully due to various reasons.

According to the Cabinet statement, it has become an essential and immediate need to build reconciliation among Sri Lankans. Public institutions including ministries are engaged in this process but due to the absence of a centralised institution in coordinating this process some practical issues such as delays and duplication of tasks have arisen. Therefore, the proposal made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to establish a Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 The proposed Secretariat is to co ordinate  national level discourses on reconciliation mechanisms, develop  a plan with specific dates to establish reconciliation mechanisms such as ‘Office on Missing Persons’ and ‘Truth, Reconciliation and Prevention of Conflicts Commission’, co ordinate  with local institutions such as Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission and international institutes such as the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), follow-up progress and coordination of implementing recommendations stipulated in Commission Reports including LLRC and the Report of the OHCHR, and coordination of other requirements related to strengthening the rule of law, human rights and administrative and judicial reforms.