Monday, 22 August 2016 04:27

NPC Gives Proposals To Task Force Featured

The Zonal Task Force for the Western Province, which invited submissions from civil society organisations and members of the public, received submissions from NPC members on August 15. An NPC team obtained a meeting with the Task Force at the Divisional Secretariat Office in Colombo. The idea of a Compassionate Council consisting of religious clergy that was mooted by the government delegation to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2015, as a part of the Truth Commission, was supported by the NPC members.

NPC members led by Saman Seneviratne, who manages the inter religious programme of the organisation, proposed that the Compassionate Council should be linked to district level religious clergy who could be message bearers of the reconciliation process and also serve as psycho social support structures to victims who might provide evidence before the Truth Commission and suffer re-traumatisation as a result.

In addition, the NPC members provided data and information about the consultation process that NPC itself has been engaging with community leaders on the government’s proposed reconciliation and transitional justice approach. The positive feedback they have been receiving in their consultation process includes a willingness to accommodate international participation in the envisaged judicial accountability mechanism. They emphasised the need to broad base and further intensify the process of public education on the reconciliation process as knowledge about what the government is proposing to do is not well known at the community level. This leaves open a vacuum of knowledge that can be filled by nationalist propaganda and inaccurate information that can reduce the public support for the transitional justice process.