The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Rauff Hakeem has stated that his party welcomes the draft text of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka tabled on 24 September 2015 at its 30th session.
Rauff Hakeem said: “The SLMC considers this consensus resolution, co-sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka, as an important step in addressing the suffering experienced by citizens from all communities over the past decades. It also offers the prospect of breaking away from Sri Lanka’s culture of impunity, carry out institutional and legislative reforms and genuinely entrench good governance and the rule of law.
The SLMC has consistently maintained that peace, security and prosperity require a Sri Lanka in which justice, equality and freedom prevail for all citizens. Although its focus is on the GOSL-LTTE conflict, the reconciliation process should not ignore the plight of the Muslims who suffered in the war as rightly mentioned in the report.
This resolution and the formation of a national government create a rare opening for comprehensively addressing the core grievances of victims from all communities and tackling the root causes of conflict. In particular, the institutional mechanisms outlined in this resolution, if they are genuinely independent and command the confidence of all communities, will also help lay the foundations for genuine reconciliation and a harmonious society. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is committed to assisting in this process and calls upon all stakeholders, including political parties and civil society, to leave partisan differences aside and ensure that this important process of national healing is implemented in full. In this context, we welcome the Tamil National Alliance’s statement asking that the “Tamil people of Sri Lanka also to use this moment as a moment of introspection into our own community’s failures and create the right culture and atmosphere in which we can live with dignity and self-respect, as equal citizens of Sri Lanka”. The principle behind this statement applies to all Sri Lanka’s communities and citizens; and the SLMC will not hesitate to lead our community in making a genuine contribution to justice, peace and reconciliation.
As a party that has steadfastly committed and advocated for a negotiated political settlement to the national question, the SLMC also welcomes the Government’s commitment to devolution of political authority which too ought to be pursued soonest through constitutional reforms to the satisfaction of all communities.
The previous administration had the historical window of opportunity to refashion a Sri Lankan nation at peace with itself reconciled to its pluralist composition. It ignored or failed to contend with the tide of history. We fervently hope that the reconciliation process and the political settlement will be inclusive.”