Published on: July 27, 2023

Trade Unions and Civil Organizations updated about Truth Commission

  • Emphasizes Government’s Support While Ensuring Commission’s Full Authority and International Accountability Process.

During a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (26), Mr. Ali Sabri, Minister of Foreign Affairs, highlighted the significance of establishing a Truth-Seeking Commission to address the ethnic problem’s impact on affected communities. He stressed that the commission should operate independently, with the government’s role limited to providing necessary support and facilities.

Once established through an act, the truth-seeking commission will be granted full authority. To promote its implementation, Minister Ali Sabri announced the organization of international forums. The Cabinet-approved Interim Secretariat is expected to lay the groundwork for expediting the commission’s operations.

Minister Ali Sabri Briefed Trade Unions and Civil Organizations on the Truth-Finding Commission at a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

The Minister acknowledged the importance of an internationally recognized accountability process and assured that the government is committed to creating such a mechanism. He pledged to take all essential steps to instil confidence in the truth-seeking commission.

Mr. Saman Ratnapriya, Director General of Trade Unions to President Wickremesinghe, also expressed his views during the discussion. He pointed out that the three-decade-long war had caused extensive damage throughout the country as a whole, and there is a pressing need for a thorough investigation. He noted that previous commissions’ proposals on this matter were not adequately implemented, leading to the consideration of models from countries like South Africa to devise a suitable mechanism for Sri Lanka. Mr. Ratnapriya emphasized that informing society about the commission and garnering support for its implementation is vital to prevent the country from facing further difficulties.

Also addressing the event, Mr. Asanga Gunawansa, the Director General of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, drew attention to Singapore’s remarkable transformation into a developed country through reconciliation, two decades after gaining independence. He underscored that reconciliation is an indispensable factor for Sri Lanka’s own development. Mr. Gunawansa highlighted the commission’s potential to create an environment where the unfortunate past would not be repeated.

To support the establishment of this commission and contribute to a locally effective and internationally recognized mechanism, three divisions have been set up: the Interim Secretariat, Legal and Policy Division, and Public Relations Division, along with the Information Technology Division.

The event witnessed the participation of numerous representatives from trade unions and civil organizations.


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