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Minister of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages, Mano Ganesan confirmed that he has complained to President Maithripala Sirisena with regard to interference from former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in relation to ongoing efforts at reconciliation in the country.

Kumaratunga, a backer of the incumbent Government, is currently the Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR).

“I do not want to be made to look like some showcase Minister or a Minister for show while others do the work of reconciliation”, Ganesan said.

He further added that the ONUR chaired by Kumaratunga was continuing to poke its fingers into the work of the Ministry of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages. He noted that external interference was bearing down on his efforts to establish national reconciliation.

According to Ministry sources, activities coming within the purview of the subjects of reconciliation efforts are presently being handled by several Ministries and establishments.

Kumaratunga was not available for a comment.

  • Shyaman Hemakody

    I doubt that Minister of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages, Hon. Mano Ganeshan, was well informed by his ministry officials on this matter. According to my knowledge, it seems that drafting the National Policy on Reconciliation is directly under the scope of Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation mandated to promote National Integration and Reconciliation and lasting peace in whole of Sri Lanka in terms of Gazette Extraordinary No. 1945/41 dated 18th December 2015 where the President, H.E. Maithripala Sirisena serves as the Cabinet Minister and Hon. A.H.M. Fowzie serves as the State Minister.

    The Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) which was already established and active in reconciliation task at the time where the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation was not established has been designated later as the implementation agency of implementing the mandate of this Ministry (Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation). The Office for National Unity and Reconciliation is governed by a Council of Members chaired by former president H.E. Chandrika Bandaranayke Kumaratunga.

    It seems that the process of drafting the National policy on reconciliation under the guidance of ONUR and Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation took nearly a year with number of consultation and other sessions held with relevant government ministries, agencies and departments, provincial administrations, academics, civil society representatives, grassroots activists, victims’ organizations and representatives, women’s rights advocates, and youth.

    According to the documents at the ONUR it seems that the former Permanent Secretary and another higher official to Hon. Mano Ganeshan’s Ministry of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages continuously participated and actively contributed to these consultation sessions of drafting the national policy on reconciliation.

    It also seems that there are no issues in the context of this national policy because no one has criticized it yet including other Cabinet Ministers, Attorney General’s Department, Legal Draftsman’s Department, political parties, religious organisations or other organizations concerned.