Fostering reconciliation, not judicial mechanisms my ministry’s forte – Ganeshan

National Dialogue Minister Mano Ganeshan yesterday said that his ministry’s role related to fostering national reconciliation with preventing recurrence of violations and abuses rather than supporting judicial mechanisms.

Ganeshan said this in response to a question posed by the Daily News as to how he and his ministry was planning to support national reconciliation once the proposed war crimes courts have been established in the country before the end of January next year.

Former President and Head of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said on Monday at a press conference at the BMICH that a special court will be set up to inquire into alleged war crimes in the country before February next year.

The courts will be set up as per US-Sri Lankan resolution to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka which was presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council last September.

The resolution came under heavy criticism from the joint opposition in view of the fact that it could involve foreign judges. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesasinghe said commenting on this, that foreign judges will only be involved if sanctioned by Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court.

Minister Mano Ganeshan said, “As a co-sponsor of the resolution, Sri Lanka is committed to ensure truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non recurrence.

“My ministry’s role falls in line with the fourth, ensuring non recurrence of violations and abuses,” he explained.

“I met with Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Canada, the US, the UK, Germany and India regarding programmes we are planning to introduce in the country to prevent possibilities of all kinds of recurrence violations and human rights through social reconciliation and integration,” he said.

“Promoting the State language policy is one of our primary concerns as it builds the much needed confidence,” he said.

“Canada has been our old partner in this pursuit. They have very rich experience when it comes to social reconciliation. Germany has also joined with us to support our efforts. The US and India are playing vital roles,” he said.

“I expect their continued support to implement social dialogue and language programmes to promote reconciliation,” he added.

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