Harsha de Silva faces Geneva Court

Item in Daily News, 16 November 2917 with this titlSri Lanka taken important steps towards reconciliation- Dr. Harsha

National Policies and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr.Harsha de Silva addressing the Third Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka which was held in Geneva yesterday said that for the first time in Sri Lanka’s history, a section of the National Budget for 2018 is expressly dedicated to reconciliation.

Further speaking Dr. De Silva said that Sri Lanka consider investments in reconciliation and peace as sound economic policy as they strengthen security and stability and foster a fertile environment to attract investment. “Likewise, sound economic policy that fosters income growth and employment helps us to build the conditions necessary for long-term peace, security, stability and reconciliation,” the Deputy Minister said.

Dr.De Silva pointed out that Sri Lanka has taken a series of important steps towards reconciliation including the establishment of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) which became operational on September 15, 2017. Deputy Minister De Silva pointed out that the government recognising the Right of access to Information as a fundamental right through the 19th amendment to the Constitution, it enacted the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

De Silva also pointed out that Sri Lanka has made significant progress between the brief period of roughly 2 years and 10 months since the election of the present National Unity Government in 2015. Dr. De Silva also said the SL government is setting new benchmarks to manifest the “commitment to open and transparent processes, and respect for engagement with our citizens, and bottom-up approaches to policy-making, we embarked on an extensive and inclusive consultation process involving ministries and departments; civil society representatives; and experts in different fields.”

“Sri Lanka has accomplished much. Yet, we do not consider it a reason to be complacent. Neither are we, as some tend to allege, indifferent or uncaring about human rights. We remain acutely aware and conscious that there is much more to be done, to ensure that all our citizens enjoy the rights due to them to their full extent. We firmly believe that citizens empowered by their individual rights will strengthen our nation.” Dr. De Silva also said.

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Confronting the OCHR Investigation in Geneva, September 2014: Memorandum from Jeevan Thiagarajah

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