Jun 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka remains committed to implement the recommendations of its domestic reconciliation commission despite the "ill-conceived" UN resolution causing mistrust about international processes among the Sri Lankan people and hampering the domestic efforts, Sri Lanka told the 20th session of the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva.
Making a statement at the HRC session on Monday Sri Lanka's representative Manisha Gunasekera said some of the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) are already in a stage of implementation.
However, she pointed out that the measures were undertaken well before the adoption of the ill-conceived Resolution at the 19th session in March and therefore, Sri Lanka continues to believe that the Resolution was completely unnecessary and unwarranted.
"It does not add any value to the ongoing domestic efforts. On the contrary, this action has caused mistrust about international processes among the people of Sri Lanka and runs counter to our domestic efforts," she further explained to the Council.
Being mindful of the Sri Lanka public's concerns, the government is "resolutely pursuing a home grown solution" on reconciliation which has the public endorsement and the envoy asked the Council to provide time and space to overcome the country's own challenges.
At the 20th session in Geneva in March 2012, the HRC adopted a resolution sponsored by the United States sponsored resolution urging Sri Lanka to expeditiously implement the LLRC recommendations in order to achieve reconciliation with the Tamil community.
Highlighting the developments in the reconciliation process, Gunasekera said there are only 6,022 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are remaining to be resettled from a 290,000 displaced by the war at the end in May 2009.
Sri Lanka has rehabilitated and reintegrated 10,949 ex-combatants, from approximately 12,000, while 629 are undergoing rehabilitation, and 403 are under legal procedure or remand. Among the reintegrated were 594 LTTE child soldiers, who were rehabilitated and returned to their families within one year.
In contrary to the outcry from international community and country's minority and opposition of excessive presence of security forces in the North, the government has taken steps to considerably reduce the strength of the military in the North with the termination of military operations. The government has also reduced the number of High Security Zones by 40 percent in the region.
Among other measures implemented by the government were the recruitment of 1,133 officials of Tamil ethnicity in the Sri Lanka Police Department and 436 of them in the North, and 377 in the East, and establishment of a database containing details of arrested suspects including detainees in order to facilitate their next of kin to obtain details.
Expressing hope that the High Commissioner Navi Pillay would accept the invitation extended in April 2011 to visit Sri Lanka, the representative assured that Sri Lanka will continue to proactively and voluntarily engage with UN mechanisms despite the setbacks brought about by the adoption of the UN resolution.
The many positive developments on the ground achieved by Sri Lanka since the end of the war in May 2009 will be availed to the High Commissioner to ascertain firsthand, the progress, Ms. Gunasekera said.