Treasury to finance LLRC implementation
The government’s strategy for implementation of the recommendations contained in the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission is practical and action-oriented, and the financial resources required for this purpose will be released by the Treasury, External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said on Tuesday.
He made this statement when he called on Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith at Archbishop’s House.
The allocation of funds will be made in respect of each of the ministries, departments and statutory bodies tasked with implementation of different sections of the Report, the minister explained.
Commenting on the unprecedentedly large number of high level foreign visits to Sri Lanka in recent weeks, the minister said that the government’s policy of allowing and indeed facilitating open access to the Northern Province and all other parts of the country had brought in its wake substantial benefits to the country.
This has enabled visitors of the calibre of Lord Naseby, Special Representative of the Japanese government Ambassador Yasushi Akashi and ten members of the British Parliament to share with the international community their first-hand impressions of the progress on the ground.
Many of them had indicated that comparable progress in post-conflict situations in other parts of the world had taken more than a decade, the minister observed. Prof. Peiris explained that the Universal Periodic Review process applies to all 192 members of the United Nations, each of whom comes up for review every four and a half years. He described in detail the steps taken by the government in this regard, and the course of action contemplated for the future.
The Minister provided Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith with an account of the role which the government envisaged for the Parliamentary Select Committee, and the essential function of that Committee in relation to the overall political process.
He informed Cardinal Ranjith that the government would continue from time to time the practice of holding briefing sessions for local and foreign media, as well as for the diplomatic community, as the implementation process moves forward. The minister emphasized the importance of the role of religious leaders as a unifying force in strengthening this process, and said that the government appreciates such advice and guidance.
I will not let anyone reverse the country’s forward march
President Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed that he would not allow anyone to reverse the country’s forward march by creating ethnic and religious disputes.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the gathering in Samanthurai
As the leader of all ethnicities and as the guardian of all nationals he is duty bound to protect ethnic harmony. He asked the people of Samanthurai not to fall prey to such conspiracies since certain narrow minded politicians are trying to obtain political gain by rousing communal passions .
The President added that he is the guardian of all ethnicities and religions in the country. He further said that, everyone is treated equally irrespective of their ethnic origins.
The President was addressing the United People’s Freedom Alliance propaganda rally organized in Samanthurai town.
A massive crowd representing Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities attended the rally.
The President told the crowd that unscrupulous groups were attempting to disrupt peace in the country by rousing communal hatred. Even though, certain politically motivated forces try to destroy the ethnic harmony, the harmony among Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people is strengthening day by day.
The President said that the era, which gave no firm idea about the future has ended. Fear and uncertainty about the future has faded away with the eradication of the terrorism from the country. Now has dawned an era that anyone can live with dignity and self-esteem and with targets and goals to achieve in the future.
“We have to create a country, where we all can live with harmony respecting each other but not a country filled with hatred. That is the core value of every religion the President stressed. President Rajapaksa reiterated that there was no majority or minority in the country. “We all are Sri Lankan. The government has ensured a better education for all since the children are the future of the country.
“I am the guardian of you all. I am not the President of only the Sinhalese, but, of all communities, Tamil, Muslim and all others. Similarly, I stand to safeguard all religions.
I am responsible for protecting all religious places of worship, be it temple, kovil, mosque, or church the President said.
“They spread false propaganda that the government is damaging mosques. Not only the government, but, every politician stands for protecting religious places.
President Rajapaksa stressed that no element will be allowed to disrupt the hard won peace in the country. ‘Our War Heroes achieved peace by eliminating terrorism making the supreme sacrifice.