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Sri Lankan Christians Call for Genuine Reconciliation

May 2nd, 2011

Mullivaikkal Hospital Shelled on 30 May 2009

Twenty-five Sri Lankan Christians, including two Oblate priests, issued a statement that is believed to have prompted the recent release of the report of the UN Secretary General’s panel of experts on the war in Sri Lanka. The group has called for open discussion of what happened in the final months of the war, and the current situation in the north where the majority of Tamils live.

According to their letter:

We believe that it is left to us Sri Lankans to establish and acknowledge the truth, apologize for wrongs done, ensure justice and accountability, and through measures such as reparations, show our care and support towards those who have suffered such as families of those killed and disappeared, those who have been injured during war and due to torture, those who continue to be detained without charges and without due process, those who had been displaced and lost properties etc. It is our contention that truth, justice, accountability together with care and reparation for victims are essential ingredients for progress, development of a post war Sri Lanka, along with a longer term political solution that addresses grievances of Tamil community that led to the birth of the LTTE and full scale war.

But it is our assessment that we have been unable to make significant progress on any of the above fronts within Sri Lanka, particularly in the last two years since the end of the war. The process of LLRC [Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission] had not given us much confidence though we still hope for positive outcomes from the LLRC, particularly the publication of it’s final report, conclusions and recommendations as soon as possible, which would have the potential to serve as a valuable resource for our reconciliation efforts. In this context we believe international assistance can also be crucial in our post war rebuilding and reconciliation efforts. Thus, we find it encouraging that establishment of the truth, apology for wrongs done, justice, accountability and reparation for victims is reflected in the conclusions and recommendations of the panel of experts appointed by the UNSG.

Read the full letter…

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