South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

By Dianne Silva

The Sri Lankan Ambassador in Washington,  Jaliya Wickramasuriya has written to the Sri Lankan Country Director of Amnesty International James McDonald calling for a dialogue with Amnesty International on issues relating to Sri Lanka.

“The people of Sri Lanka need and are receiving international community support for reconciliation, reconstruction and healing. I feel that the campaign by Amnesty International to criticize Sri Lanka undermines these immediate needs,” Wickramasuriya writes.

He calls for the acceptance of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. while acknowledging AI’s rejection of the Commission. “The LLRC was established by Sri Lankans  for Sri Lanka. It is exploring the past to guarantee continued peace in the future. And so far, the process has been both productive and peaceful. It has also been transparent; all the testimony  are posted on the LLRC’s website and it is unbiased,” he writes.

“He also reprimands the Organisation for refusing to give testimony at the LLRC. It goes without saying that Sri Lankans were disappointed that Amnesty International chose not to provide information or testimony to the LLRC”

That, we felt, should have been part of the open discussion that the LLRC has encouraged in Sri Lanka.” He also addressed the claim by Amnesty International in its report “Forgotten Prisoners” released earlier this month that 1,900 persons were still being detained.

Source: Daily Mirror – 19.03.2011