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India calls for genuine reconciliation

2014 Apr 07

India today asked Sri Lanka to take “expeditious steps” towards genuine national reconciliation, including investigations into allegations of human rights violations committed during the last phase of the nearly three-decades long civil war with the LTTE, the Press Trust of India reported.

“It is our view that the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka provided a unique opportunity to pursue a lasting political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, and acceptable to all the communities in the island, including the Tamils,” India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka  said.

“We have conveyed to the Government of Sri Lanka on a number of occasions the need for expeditious steps towards genuine national reconciliation, including investigations into allegations of human rights violations,” he said while addressing foreign correspondents in Colombo.

Sinha said genuine national reconciliation must include restoration of normalcy in affected areas, reduction of “high security zones”, satisfactorily addressing the issue of missing persons and the redressal of humanitarian concerns of the affected families.

He reiterated that 30 years of internecine conflict in Sri Lanka had taken a heavy toll and ruptured the socio-political fabric of the country.

The Indian envoy asserted that while almost five years have elapsed since the Sri Lankan armed forces decisively defeated the dreaded Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), national reconciliation has unfortunately eluded the people of Sri Lanka.

The remarks came days after India for the first time abstained from voting on an “intrusive” US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council.

The resolution sought an international inquiry into alleged war crimes in the last stages of conflict with the LTTE in 2009.

Sinha said the repeated resolutions at the Human Rights Council in Geneva against Sri Lanka had increased the challenges to the bilateral relationship.

“Our emphasis, in this context, has been to encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to take forward the process of broader dialogue and show concrete movement towards a meaningful devolution of powers, through full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond. This would greatly facilitate national reconciliation by building trust and confidence on all sides,” he said.

He noted that the Indian government welcomed the successful culmination of elections for the Northern Provincial Council, in September 2013.

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