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Roundtable on HRCSL roadmap

2013 Sep 27

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka2    

The Commonwealth is working with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) to determine a roadmap for the Commission’s role in national reconciliation efforts.

The Commonwealth Secretariat will facilitate a roundtable from 26 to 27 September in Vavuniya to discuss this, the Commonwealth Secretariat said.

The roundtable will bring together the Chairperson, commissioners and senior staff of the Commission, civil society organisations from the North of Sri Lanka, and religious leaders who are actively engaged in promoting reconciliation and addressing post-conflict issues in Vavuniya and surrounding areas in the North.

Experts who will participate in the roundtable include Dr David Russell, Deputy Director of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and Michael Doherty, Executive Director of the Peace and Reconciliation Group, Northern Ireland.

“In determining the role of a national human rights institution such as the HRCSL in national and local reconciliation efforts, there must be recognition of local civil society initiatives. The Commission has the potential to shore up reconciliation efforts, such as acting as a bridge between civil society and government. There is also a role for the Commission in facilitating constructive engagements with the Executive and Parliament on nation-building, reconstruction and development.” Acting Head of Human Rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Karen McKenzie said.

In May 2013, the Commonwealth Secretariat convened a Commonwealth Roundtable on Reconciliation in London at which a senior delegation from the Commission participated alongside seven other Commonwealth countries. The participants identified critical components for lasting peace after conflict. (Colombo Gazette)

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