Colombo, September 2: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who had talks with the Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena, here on Thursday, did not mention the October 1, 2015 UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution which had called upon Sri Lanka to set up a Judicial Mechanism with international judges to try war crimes cases.
“The President told us that Ban did not mention the UNHRC resolution even in the 10 minute one-to-one meeting he had with him. In fact Ban expressed satisfaction about the way the Sri Lankan government is handling the issue of reconciliation,” a reliable source in the President’s Office told Express.
While noting that the progress in reconciliation has been “slow”, Ban said it has been “steady”, and offered all assistance from the UN to carry forward the reconciliation process and post-war re-construction.
The President told media persons on Friday that Ban did not set deadlines for reconciliation.
The UN Secretary General told the President that during his visit to Galle on September 1 to address a youth conclave on reconciliation, he could witness the progress achieved in various fields. He held a dialogue with the people, especially the youth, and expressed satisfaction at the free and friendly atmosphere prevailing in Sri Lanka now.
Sirisena briefed the Secretary General about the steps taken by his government to reach out to the Tamil minority, including the return of lands seized from them during the war. The two leaders discussed the ongoing development programs, progress of the programs to strengthen reconciliation and the efforts being made to bring about constitutional reforms including devolution to the provinces.
Sirisena explained the steps taken by the government for the resettlement and rehabilitation of the Tamil war refugees, the release of land to the original owners and also livelihood development.
He requested the UN chief to give Sri Lanka more time to resolve issues of reconciliation as Sri Lanka country has only recently emerged from 30 years of armed conflict.
Prior to meeting Ban Ki-moon, Sirisena had tweeted to say that he “warmly welcomes” the Secetary General and is “looking forward to fruitful discussions” with him.