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In support of Peace, Reconciliation, & Development in Sri Lanka

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March 20, 2013

Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia,
Hon Tony Abbott MP, Leader of the Opposition,
Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Hon Julie Bishop MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition,
HE High Commissioner, Canada,
HE High Commissioner, India,
HE Ambassador, USA,
HE High Commissioner, UK,
Head of Delegation, European Union to Australia and to New Zealand.

Your Excellencies,

In support of Peace, Reconciliation, & Development in Sri Lanka

In light of the ongoing deliberations at the UNHRC in Geneva, Sri Lanka is again poised to having a resolution tabled against it. It is our view that it is only fair that this resolution be viewed with consideration to true facts surrounding the reconciliation and development efforts of the democratically elected government of Sri Lanka. A group of supporters of separatism in Sri Lanka recently visited several diplomatic Missions in Canberra and the Australian Parliament, requesting action against the government of Sri Lanka. We believe it is important to keep Your Excellencies informed of the true status-quo in relation to the issues raised by them and also take this opportunity to respond to such allegations, which are erroneous and misleading, and clarify the same:

  • The Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary General (UNSG) was solely for the purpose of advising him and was not the result of an intergovernmental process; accordingly, the report arising from that panel was an internal document of the office of the UNSG;
    Importantly, given that the sources quoted therein are unidentified, the allegations therein remain both unverifiable and dubious;

  • The Sri Lankan reconciliation mechanism, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), invited the UNSG’s Expert Panel to collaborate with it but was turned down;
  • Many of the LLRC’s far reaching recommendations, including provisions for accountability are now widely accepted by many despite initial scepticism cast on its credibility in 2010;

  • Sri Lanka has been implementing the recommendations of the LLRC report even before the adoption of the UNHCR resolution in March last year (2012);

  • History shows that the processes of reconciliation after a long protracted conflict takes time, and often, the most effective and sustainable solutions emerge from within the country;

  • Sri Lanka recognizes all major religions of the world, and for millennia people lived in harmony;

  • Since the end of the conflict in 2009 people of Sri Lankan are living in peace and security, a stark contrast to conflicts of the past in other countries;

  • Further, post-conflict achievement on reconciliation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, resettlement and reintegration in Sri Lanka have been acclaimed by independent agencies as unprecedented and also acknowledged by the Australian Government and Opposition.

Having a Sri Lankan heritage, we in Australia appreciate and wish to live in peace and in harmony with all communities and ethnicities. Your Excellencies would also understand and appreciate the need for an environment in Sri Lanka to build upon its hard-earned peace and stability, after many decades, in order to bring prosperity to its people. It is with deep concern that we draw Your Excellencies attention to the activities of supporters of separatism to destabilise the sovereign nation of Sri Lanka, through false propaganda, attempts to disrupt communal harmony, peace and tranquilly enjoyed by communities in Australia. We trust Your Excellencies would support in earnest the continued efforts of Sri Lanka to move ahead towards sustainable peace and prosperity which it richly deserves.

Yours sincerely,
Sri Lankan Community in Australia as signed below:


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