It is essential to achieve lasting peace in Sri Lanka, he says
A meaningful reconciliation with the Tamil community through domestic institutions is essential to achieve lasting peace in Sri Lanka, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said. Addressing the high-level UN General Debate here on Wednesday, he stressed that his government was ready to engage with all stakeholders and to obtain the support of its international partners in the process.
In 2019, Sri Lanka experienced the devastation wrought by extremist religious terrorists in the Easter Sunday attacks that killed over 250 people. “Before that, until 2009” the country “had suffered from a separatist terrorist war for 30 years, he said, referring to the conflict with the LTTE.
“Terrorism is a global challenge that requires international cooperation, especially on matters such as intelligence sharing, if it is to be overcome,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
He said fostering greater accountability, restorative justice, and meaningful reconciliation through domestic institutions is essential to achieve lasting peace.
“So too is ensuring more equitable participation in the fruits of economic development,” he said, adding it is his government’s firm intention to build a prosperous, stable and secure future for all Sri Lankans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or gender.
Mr. Rajapaksa stressed that Sri Lanka is ready to engage with all domestic stakeholders and to obtain the support of its international partners and the United Nations, in this process.
The Sri Lankan leader said violence had robbed his country of thousands of lives and decades of prosperity in the past half a century and he expressed the commitment of his government “to ensure that such violence never takes place in Sri Lanka again. We are therefore acting to address the core issues behind it.”
“However, history has shown that lasting results can only be achieved through home-grown institutions reflecting the aspirations of the people. Sri Lanka’s Parliament, Judiciary and its range of independent statutory bodies should have unrestricted scope to exercise their functions and responsibilities.”
Mr. Rajapaksa’s comments came as the UN Human Rights Council last week announced in Geneva that they are in possession of some 120,000 pieces of evidence on alleged abuses committed by Sri Lankan troops during the final phase of the conflict with the LTTE.
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