Rajiva Wijesinha’s frequently updated blog.
The general reconciliation policy post-war has been ‘eh?’, but now Presidential Adviser Rajiva Wijesinha has proposed something quite substantive. The most notable recommendation is for a Senate, which I’m meh about, but the other recommendations seem pretty damn solid. Acknowledging and expressing loss and suffering, acknowledging and addressing bad governance that affects all Sri Lankans, ensuring fair access to public and police jobs, and ensuring at least bilingualism in the public sector. These are all very good things.
Here are some highlights, via the Sunday Times:
The Government shall make every effort to give full effect to the Interim and Final Recommendations of the LLRC so as to maintain the confidence of the people in the reconciliation process.
The Government shall work comprehensively and cohesively to implement the National Action Plan on Human Rights that has been adopted by Cabinet, with particular attention to improving the capacities of and faith in the police, to ensuring better protection mechanisms for women and children, and to streamlining the judicial system to promote confidence in its operations.
- The State shall put in place mechanisms that facilitate the acknowledgement of losses and suffering on all sides, accompanied by expressions of empathy and solidarity.
Recognizing that the ensuing minority grievances stem from deficiencies in the system of administration and lack of good governance that affect all citizens regardless of ethnicity, will ensure that every citizen who has a grievance out of any executive or administrative act, particularly those based on ethnicity or religion, should have the right to seek redress before an independent institution.
- In order to ensure that there is no political interference in the public service and that recruitment and promotions in the public service are in conformity with the equality provisions in the Constitution, the Government shall work towards the establishment of an Independent Public Service Commission without delay. Measures shall also be taken to ensure the independence of the judiciary and the police with regard to the appointment process as well as in their functioning.
- Efforts should be made to make the public service and the police inclusive of all communities with special attention to ensuring adequate representation of the population in any area.
- Ensuring at least bilingualism in the public service and other professions serving the public, whilst nationally the culture of trilingualism should be fostered by making passes in any two of the National Languages compulsory, along with Mathematics, at the GCE Ordinary Level Examination.
Implementation is the thing, but this actually looks very promising. Godspeed.