Thursday, September 21, 2017 01:45:50 PM

GOVERNMENT’S DECISIVENESS WINS ALL ROUND SUPPORT–Jehan Perera

By Samantha - Mon Aug 15, 7:51 am

The issue of fulfilling the pledges made to the international community in Geneva seemed to threaten the unity of the government even a month ago. In October 2015 the government co-sponsored the resolution on Sri Lanka that was sponsored by the United States and backed by the majority of countries in the UN Human Rights Council. There were publicly articulated differences of opinion in which Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera sought to reassure the international community that the government would be standing by its pledges while President Maithripala Sirisena sought to reassure the ethnic majority population that the country’s sovereignty would not be jeopardized or the soldiers who fought in the war would not be hauled before international tribunals.

The passage of the law setting up the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) has laid to rest doubts regarding the government’s commitment, and ability, to take forward the reconciliation process, to remain politically strong within the country and also to deliver on the promises it made in Geneva. The OMP is one of the four domestic mechanisms the government undertook to set up in response to the international pressure for Sri Lanka to agree to international mechanisms to ensure accountability for war crimes and serious human rights violations. The other three mechanisms are a truth commission, an office of reparations and a special court.

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