Govt. seeks SA assistance to establish Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Govt. seeks SA assistance to establish Truth and Reconciliation Commission

*Japan to produce driverless cars by 2020
*Ranil makes tea after a long time

by Zacki Jabbar in Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo : The Sri Lanka government has sought the assistance of South Africa to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission following the United Nations Human Rights Council calling for an independent domestic mechanism to investigate  alleged war crimes.

The United Nations Human Rights Council on October 2 passed a resolution calling for accountability into alleged human rights violations by both government forces and LTTE during the decades long ethnic conflict through a Special Court.

Informed sources said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who was on an official visit to Japan last week, had told his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe  that his administration was in talks with South Africa to draw on its experience in setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the end of  aparthied rule in that country and establish a simillar mechanism in Sri Lanka.

He, had also outlined the various measures that the new government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena had implemented in re-establishing democracy, good governance and the rule of law.

“Apart from instituting a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, for which South African assistance has been sought, we are also in the process of appointing a Compassionate Council comprising members of clergy representing all the major religions practiced in Sri Lanka, among other measures such as the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, aimed at making reconciliation and durable peace and harmony  meaningful”, Wickremesinghe had explained to Abe.

The Prime Minister also revealed that his government had constructively engaged the Tamil National Alliance towards a solution to the National Question with the participation of all stakeholders, to stand the test of  to time in an evironment where there would be no room for the seeds of conflict and separation to be revived.

Calling on Japan to not only lead Sri Lanka’s economic revival,he had urged it to engage in post war reconstruction and reconciliation as well.

The Japanese Prime Minister while welcoming Sri Lanka’s new partnership with the international community had assured economic assistance.

Addressing the 12th Annual General Meeting of the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum at  the Kyoto International Conference Center last week, Shinzo Abe revealed that Japan would have produced driverless cars in time for the 2020 Para Olympics.

The cars would be able to change lanes even on highways he noted adding that his country would use its power in Science and Technology to promote peace and harmony in the world.

Wickremesinghe and his wife, Maithree, also participated in a tea ceremony hosted jointly  by the Kyoot Prefecture, Kyoto City and Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the State Guest House.

While being  taught the art of making Japanese tea by a specialist in the field, the Prime Minister commented that he had made tea after a very long time.

He invited  the Governor and Mayor of Kyoto Prefecture and City to visit N’Eliya which was their Sister City and urged them to teach Sri Lankans the art of making Japanese tea.