Published On : Fri, Mar 25th, 2016

Finding truth behind war imperative: CBK

CHANDRIKA

Discussing the circumstances that led to the violence that took place in the North as well as what took place during the war was essential if we are to move forward with the reconciliation process, Ex-President and National Unity and Reconciliation Office Chairperson Chandrika Kumaratunga said yesterday.

Mrs. Kumaratunga, who was one of those present at the panel discussion organised by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) to mark the International Right to Truth Day which fell yesterday, said finding out the truth about what took place during the war, talking about it and knowing that it is recognized, was the most important factor in coping with the results of such violence.

“The truth is essential for coping with loss and the pain that accompanies such loss. Some political elements try to prevent the people from learning the truth, especially with regard to the Tamil people during the conflict and the end of the war.

They try to create division in the society,” she said. She said all the victims of the violence including the families of missing persons and those who have lost loved ones, not only in the North and East but also in the South including the families of soldiers who were victims of bomb attacks have the right to the truth. “We have to discuss all of this and accept the right of all these people to know the truth. Discussing the issues is essential to coming to terms with what happened.

The new regime has accepted this and has put various mechanisms into places to seek the truth,” Kumaratunga said. She said that previously the authorities had appointed many commissions without really being convinced about the need for them and added that there was hope for those seeking the truth under the new regime.

“The political will is there now but a lot of work has to be done in the future. The vision and the way forward are clear and have been worked out. The basic spadework has been done.

What we need now is for everyone to give us their fullest support to complete this task, which is a messy operation which deals with millions of victims,” she said.

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