A significant stride toward transitional justice and post-conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka has been marked with the government’s decision to establish an independent Commission for Truth, Unity, and Reconciliation—a historic endeavor shaping the nation’s future.
As outlined by the President’s Media Division (PMD), this pivotal commission is set to be established through an Act of Parliament. Currently, a comprehensive concept paper is being crafted, inviting input from pertinent stakeholders to ensure a consultative and inclusive approach in developing legislation that strengthens national unity through truth, transitional justice, reconciliation, reparation, and social cohesion.
This initiative’s core objective is to unearth the truth regarding the post-conflict grievances of Sri Lankan citizens, laying the foundation for reconciliation, reparation, and sustainable peace.
“The proposed Commission acknowledges every Sri Lankan’s inalienable right to ascertain the truth, a pivotal aspect for individuals and communities to heal from past conflicts,” affirmed the PMD.
Moreover, the Commission aims to fortify national unity, peace, rule of law, coexistence, equality, tolerance, respect for diversity, and reconciliation among Sri Lanka’s diverse communities, striving to prevent future disharmony and conflicts.
Crucially, the Commission is poised to review past Commission recommendations, including those from the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and findings from the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms.
The government is steadfast in ensuring the Commission’s impartiality, free from political influence, while fostering a victim-centric approach, providing a platform for voices to be heard and acknowledging past pain to reclaim dignity. Pending the new law’s enactment, an Interim Secretariat for Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism (ISTRM) has been established, laying the groundwork for this transformative Commission.
The ISTRM is actively engaging with the public and stakeholders, striving to shape this mechanism through participation and consultation, ultimately steering Sri Lanka toward sustainable peace and national unity. This monumental initiative stands as a beacon of hope for a future founded on truth, reconciliation, and unity.