Talks on Sri Lanka domestic mechanism next week

Updated - September 22, 2016 10:44 pm IST

Published - January 07, 2016 10:15 pm IST - COLOMBO:

The Sri Lankan government will next week begin consultations on the design of domestic mechanism that will look into the allegations of human rights violations, said Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Thursday.

Mr. Samaraweera, who had earlier met his Norwegian counterpart Børge Brende, told reporters that the mechanism “through which we are trying to address this past are in the process of being developed.”

Constitutional council

He said a special session of Parliament on Saturday would form a constitutional council, a committee consisting of the entire House, that would begin “the serious business” of consulting people and drafting a new Constitution for Sri Lanka which will reflect the aspirations of all Lankans.

Appreciating Colombo for its efforts to promote reconciliation, Mr. Brende emphasised the need for keeping up the momentum of the process and strengthening multiculturalism.

During a separate event, United Nations Development Programme’s Director for Sri Lanka, Joern Soerensen, and Norwegian Ambassador Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther signed an agreement for the benefit of the recently-resettled communities in Jaffna in Northern Province.

The Norwegian government would support the UNDP in improving access to justice and providing livelihood opportunities of the communities.

Release of more land

On Wednesday, the Sri Lankan Cabinet gave its approval for returning 984 acres of private land in Jaffna to its original owners. This is expected to benefit about 2,000 displaced families.

It is learnt that a portion of around 701 acres, released by the security forces last week, forms a part of the total land to be returned. With this, the extent of private lands in Jaffna with the security forces will come down to 6,234 acres.

As per an official estimate, around 12,000 families consisting of about 41,600 persons are living either in camps or with their friends and relatives in the district.

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