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A four member European Parliamentarian Delegation with and European Parliament Secretariat, Political Advisor and EU Sri Lankan Mission of a ten member delegation visited Sri Lanka to study the national reconciliation initiatives and the GSP+ related matters from 31st October to 3rd November 2017. The delegation had a special meeting on 2.11.2017 at the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation which comes under the direct purview of His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena.

The Mission was briefed by the Secretary, Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy about the strategies, initiatives and progress on the reconciliation programmes. The EU mission commended about the District Reconciliation Committee (DRC) initiative established by His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena through a Cabinet Decision in all 25 Districts to resolve religious and ethnic tensions and to formulate district level reconciliation strategies to intervene conflict resolution through mediation, negotiation and amicable settlement. The involvement of religious dignitaries in the DRC was considered as a positive step. The EU delegation in principle agreed to extend support for the capacity building on conflict resolution specially for the DRC members.


EU delegation also noted the recent progress made on establishing the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) and Gazette issued to operationalize the OMP by the Minister of the National Integration and Reconciliation and the steps taken to appoint 7 members Commissioners through the Constitutional Council following a transparent paper advertisement.

The Programme to inculcate integration and reconciliation to school children, Youth through integration friendly school and Sunday Religious School Teaching Programme was also explained to the delegation. The delegation also noted that the experiences and international best practices in other countries such as South Africa, Northern Ireland and the localization and contextualization of strategies were noteworthy.

The delegation was also briefed on the progress of Transitional Justice Initiative specially the 50,000 permanent housing programme for the North and East Provinces and the 2500 km of road rehabilitation programmes including the livelihood support and economic empowerment programme as reparation initiative through a Cabinet Memorandum submitted by the Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to be implemented by this Ministry.


The Economic Empowerment Programme and Economic and Social Infrastructure Support Programme for the Northern and Eastern Provinces were approved by the   Cabinet of Ministers in October 2017 based on the Cabinet Paper submitted by His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as a Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation.

EU delegation also visited the Northern Province and noted the progress made on  land release and suggested on the need to accelerate the release of lands to facilitate resettlement and emphasized that benefit of reconciliation is not restrict to one group but to all Sri Lanka. The Mission expressed that a significant progress made in the reconciliation agenda . The Ministry undertook peace journalism, reconciliation walk, declaration of national integration week , formulation of reconciliation policy including support for war widows, women headed families, refugee returnees, socially integrated ex-combatants, missing person’s families , disabled and internally displaced families. The Mission was also briefed the initiative on reconciliation scorecard and barometer which are supported by the UNDP and the ADB to track the reconciliation achievements said Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, Ministry Secretary.

The Mission comprised of Mrs.Jean Denise Lambert, Chair of the Delegation of South Asia , His Excellency the Ambassador Tung Lai Margue, Head of EU Mission, Mr.Richard Graham Corbett, Vice-Chair of the Delegation of South Asia, Ms.Ulrike Muller, Member of the Delegation of South Asia, Mr. Wajid Khan, Substitute Member of the Delegation of South Asia, Mr.Paul Godfrey, Counsellor, Mr.Roshan Lyman, Economic and Commercial Advisor, Ms.Shbine Susanne Colombameyer, Political Advisor and other members of the European Parliament Secretariat.

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