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* Sri Lanka Muslim Council says resolution 'counterproductive'
Fri, Feb 14, 2014, 01:13 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 13, Colombo: The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) has expressed deep concern over the US-sponsored resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on Sri in Geneva next month to bring an international probe into allegations of war crimes.

Issuing a media statement the Muslim Council said Thursday the resolution is counterproductive as the media publicity and the government's efforts to defend the country are taking the attention away from reconciliation and reconstruction work on the ground.

"In view of the Sri Lankan Government's stated commitment to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) which has been accepted by Sri Lankans and the International community, it is unclear how the proposed resolution will productively bring about the much needed changes in our country," Ada Derana quoted the MCSL statement.

The MCSL expressed hope that a process would be implemented to assist and encourage Sri Lanka to find its own mechanisms to address the concerns of all stakeholders affected by the three-decade-old conflict.

The Council appealed to the members of the International Community supporting the Resolution to initiate a dialogue with the Sri Lankan government on a "mutually agreeable timeframe" to strengthen and implement a lasting reconciliation process as recommended by the LLRC."

The Muslim Council offered its "wholehearted support" to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the government to initiate a consultation process with the International Community to reach consensus on a time frame for complete implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC.

The MCSL also welcomed the President's proposal to initiate a Truth and Reconciliation Commission following the South African model to address the grievances of all people and communities affected by the three-decade long ethnic conflict.

The Muslim Council said it is confident that Sri Lanka's commitment for the full implementation of the LLRC recommendations as well as the outcome of a Truth and Reconciliation commission will steer the country to lasting peace and stability.

"One of the main challenges the country faces today during a difficult transition from war to peace that is still barely five years old is the erosion of tolerance of minority communities by certain extremist groups with vested interests. This is a key factor undermining the efforts of the Government to move towards a united Sri Lanka," the MCSL statement said.

The MCSL pledged to "support all efforts by the President to reign‐in such elements and establish the rule of law for a truly egalitarian Sri Lanka."

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