(November 17, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The end of 30 years of war provides a unique opportunity to the Sri Lankan Civil society to look back and ascertain the past mistakes.
However the Sri Lankan civil society has little space to generate alternative policies against the existing ones of the state. It has been further aggravated following the war due to the triumphant mentality of the majority and the victorious mindset of the rulers. This is not a new feature and it is commonly existent in many a post war situation. Nevertheless, Center for Human Rights believes that it is our bounden duty as a civil society organization to avert reoccurrence of conflict and address the causes that lead to ethnopolitical violence.
Therefore, through the existing LLRC process it is the duty of civil society organizations, to explore and lobby to reframe the path of reconciliation efforts by the government along the lines of true political, psycho-social and victim perpetrator reconciliation.
We believe the current process is not sufficient to understand the depths of the ethno-political conflict of Sri Lanka and its past, or the current post war–conflict situation. In addition the LLRC process and its objectives cannot be deemed as sufficient to understand the true reconciliation means: political, psycho-social and victim-perpetrator aspects of reconciliation.
Therefore, there is the need to generate a new action program and a strategy to make reconciliation, in order to reach a viable alternative future in Sri Lanka.
Moreover any alternative efforts that are aimed at the creation and sustenance of reconciliation and polices need to enhance the mandate of the receiving testimonies. There exists also the need for the LLRC commissioners to whom the submissions are made to be of impartiality, non-conflict of interest, and also be representatives of ethnic harmony and be politically balance.
Thus it is indispensable that he process is equipped with experts who have multidisciplinary knowledge, skills and correct attitudes to resolve data gaps between conflicting perceptions and resolving perceptions. The strategy we propose is to use the existing LLRC process to resolve this existing data gap.
In the conversion of testimonies into lessons learnt, the adoption of modern narrative techniques combined with expert knowledge guided by correct terms of references form an asset. In this sense what is needed is a correct working definition for reconciliation that is deem worthy as suitable for the conditions pertaining in Sri Lanka.
Furthermore, the lessons learnt need be evolved into policies without perpetual stagnation as results that emanated from former commissions of inquiry.
On an additional observation of the process it is visible that there is a lack of participation or involvement of masses in the process. There has also existed a persistent lacuna of media activism for the implementation of a process that is communicated to the grassroot level of Sri Lankan society.
CHR, Sri Lanka through this report and its active observation of the LLRC process strives to rectify the problems that be noted since the inception of the LLRC. Thus the report is a reflection of those observations and thoughts for improvement in a process that needs to be experiences leading to lessons learnt, which in turn will lead to implementation of practical and productive policies for reaching reconciliation in the Sri Lankan society.