Written by News 1st
09 Apr, 2014 | 8:46 pm
Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop says the Australian government believes that it is in the interests of all Sri Lankans to engage and encourage the challenging and painful process of reconciliation, rather than seek to isolate and punish.
She made this statement in an opinion article published in Australia’s Newcastle Herald, in response to an earlier statement by former UNDP spokesperson in Sri Lanka, Gordon Weiss, that Australia needs to urgently rethink its stance on Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is emerging from a dark chapter in its history and it will be no easy task to rebuild trust and confidence between all sectors of society.
Bishop noted that in meetings with Sri Lanka’s political leadership, she had reiterated the need for the Sri Lankan government to implement all the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, demilitarisation of the north and northeast, devolution of some government responsibilities to the North and East, and an independent investigation into allegations of war crimes by both sides in the final stages of the civil war.
Bishop added that nations such as Australia can point to the foundations of a successful multicultural society, which is based on all being equal before the law, freedom of speech, a free media, a robust democracy and tolerance.
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