During a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Sri Lanka Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris informed his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar about the action taken to resolve the post-ethnic war issues, including releasing LTTE Tamil rebel prisoners and revisiting the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
In the meeting on Thursday, Peiris briefed Jaishankar about the action taken by the island nation’s government to resolve residual matters after the end of the conflict in May 2009.
He said the Ministries of Foreign, Defence and Justice were working together to address key issues, such as revisiting the Prevention of Terrorism Act, releasing of LTTE prisoners, and empowering independent institutions such as the Office of Missing Persons, Office for Reparations, Office of National Unity and Reconciliation, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.
Responding on the issue, Jaishankar stressed the need for a fair and just resolution of residual issues in the aftermath of the ethnic issues is in the interest of both countries.
In a statement, the External Affairs Ministry in Colombo emphasised that both ministers agreed that bilateral relations between the two countries are of critical importance while Peiris indicated that there is strong political will to move forward in many different areas of bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries.
Referring to the UN Human Rights Council’s stance on country’s human rights record specially during and post ethnic war, Peiris told Jaishankar that Sri Lanka could not accept any external mechanisms active on the ground, when robust domestic mechanisms were vigorously moving forward.
“The nation was greatly encouraged by many countries standing firmly with the principled position taken by Sri Lanka that resolutions against countries cannot work without the consent of those countries,” he said.
Jaishankar has emphasised the need for a practical conclusion of the number of projects pending implementation, indicating that it would give more confidence to New Delhi to move forward in enhancing relations.
“Both ministers agreed on the need to conclude pending agreements to fast-track relations between the two countries,” the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry’s statement added.
While highlighting the need to engage with all stakeholders, including different political parties in Sri Lanka, Jaishankar informed that New Delhi was willing to work with Colombo in many different ways, like enhancing people to people contacts.