President Ranil Wickremesinghe recently engaged in discussions with Tamil parliamentarians representing the North and East regions, where he unveiled a comprehensive proposal to address the challenges faced by the Tamil people. The President’s Media Division (PMD) highlighted that the President’s proposal seeks to resolve the issues without any political bias and is open to discussion and consensus.
The proposal encompasses various bills and plans to improve the functioning of provincial councils, enhance national unity and reconciliation, establish a Truth-Finding Mechanism, and create the Office of Missing Persons. Additionally, the plan focuses on development initiatives for the Northern and Eastern provinces, including projects in renewable energy, water supply, infrastructure, investment promotion zones, and tourism.
President Wickremesinghe emphasized the importance of the full enforcement of the 13th Amendment, but clarified that the inclusion of police powers would require agreement from all party leaders in Parliament. He also stressed that a two-thirds majority in Parliament is necessary for certain decisions.
Regarding reconciliation efforts, the President revealed that the draft for the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation has been sent for constitutional review and will soon be presented to Parliament. The National Action Plan on Reconciliation, prepared by the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), will also be submitted to the Cabinet.
In terms of the Truth-Finding Mechanism, the President announced the establishment of an Interim Secretariat with the appointment of the Director General. The process will involve inviting applications for key staff and commencing formal mechanisms after enacting relevant laws.
During the discussions, the President addressed concerns about the merger of Northern and Eastern provinces and clarified the government’s stance on involving foreign judges in the administration of justice in the North and East.
The President also addressed the Anti-Terrorism Bill and activities of the Office of Missing Persons, providing updates on the progress of ongoing investigations. He encouraged detailed information from the Office of Investigation of Missing Persons for forwarding to the Interim Secretariat for the Truth-Finding Mechanism.
In the context of development, President Wickremesinghe outlined projects for renewable energy production, water supply, infrastructure, and tourism promotion in the Northern and Eastern provinces. These initiatives are aimed at fostering economic growth and enhancing the region’s appeal.
The President’s comprehensive proposal and discussions with Tamil parliamentarians underscore his dedication to resolving long-standing issues and promoting development and reconciliation in the Northern and Eastern regions of Sri Lanka.