Sri Lanka brief diplomats on the action plan to implement LLRC recommendations

 Aug 01, Colombo: Sri Lanka on Tuesday briefed the diplomatic community on the Action Plan formulated to implement the recommendations made by the Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) ahead of the UN human rights review in November this year.

Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, met with a large group of diplomats to enlighten them with a ‘comprehensive briefing’ of the work under way to implement the LLRC recommendations “with emphasis on the results already achieved and the planned trajectory for co-ordination and implementation in the future.”

The Ministry in a statement said Tuesday that the detailed matrix, including priorities, the institutions entrusted with responsibility, key performance indicators and time frames, was explained to the diplomatic community.

Minister Peiris has told the envoys that the Cabinet of Ministers, two months ago, had approved the establishment of a mechanism under the Presidential Secretariat which is headed by the Weeratunga, to be in charge of the implementations of LLRC recommendations.

The matrix prepared by this Committee was presented to the Cabinet by and was endorsed by the President and the Cabinet had approved it, Minister Peiris said.

The Minister further has said that the Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga last week made available the information on the Action Plan to local media. It was considered appropriate to have an interactive session with the diplomatic community, he has added.

Weeratunga has explained to the diplomats in detail the approach which his Committee adopted to the work they had undertaken.

The Action Plan has named implementation of recommendations according to activity, key responsible agency, key performance indicator and a timeframe for each task.

The recommendations, which have been categorized into four main groups, are to be implemented on long, medium and short term basis. The key elements of the Action Plan will include international humanitarian issues, human rights, land return and resettlement, restitution and compensatory relief, and reconciliation.

The Presidential Secretary has said that the recommendations, capable of short term implementation, had already been given effect, while work had begun in a structured manner with regard to the longer term proposals.

Both government officials have stressed the need for the international community to recognize the faster pace at which Sri Lanka has achieved substantial results on the ground compared to post conflict situations in other parts of the world.

This is of particular relevance in the context of the significance consistently accorded by international law and practice to domestic remedies and procedures, they have noted.

The government plans to include the progress made in the implementation of LLRC recommendations in the country’s report to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva in November.

The UNHRC has appointed India, Benin and Spain to the troika that is scheduled to review Sri Lanka. All three countries voted in support of the UN resolution adopted against Sri Lanka in March this year.

The UN resolution sponsored by the United States called on the Sri Lankan government to speedily implement the recommendations of the LLRC and take credible steps to ensure accountability for alleged serious violations of international humanitarian laws committed during the final stages of the country’s civil war.

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