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The World

Sri Lanka’s Next Steps: A LLRC Shadow Action Plan


The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Final Report contains many positive recommendations which merit immediate attention.

Tamil refugees face an uncertain future and lack of permanent housing. Photo: Mathy

This document is designed to capture the essence of those key positive recommendations and to come out with a meaningful action plan which will open the door to true reconciliation, sustainable peace, institutional reform and improved governance. Regrettably, the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has failed to act upon these constructive LLRC recommendations. In addition, the GoSL’s recently released action plan is rife with misleading, excessively general information; it is not an action plan that seeks to promote human rights, reconciliation or a lasting peace.

TSA’s plan has been written after consultation with a variety of stakeholders: including dozens of civil society leaders, thousands of community members in Sri Lanka’s North, East and Hill County and some members of the diaspora. It is the result of numerous interviews, seventy-one lengthy meetings, and several months of reflection, discussion and hard work. Importantly, it has embraced community participation at every stage.

Sri Lanka is a country in urgent need of reform; the country situation mandates it. However, the impetus to implement the LLRC recommendations can be linked directly to the passage of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution on Sri Lanka this past March. In the spirit of reconciliation and in search of a lasting peace within a united Sri Lanka, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission People’s Action Plan (LLRC PAP) seeks to bring many of these recommendations to life.

(Read the report by clicking here)

From a careful analysis of the LLRC’s Final Report, the commission’s recommendations are focused upon flaws related to governance, weak institutions and a consistent lack of political will. With this in mind, the components and key actions in the LLRC PAP have been structured and prioritized. What is more, the methods of implementation and the respective responsibilities of stakeholders have been denoted in detail.

The LLRC PAP takes the perspective of a broad range of stakeholders into account: the commission itself, the GoSL, community members from the country’s conflict-affected areas and the international community, including the United Nations (UN) and the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC).

The LLRC PAP is forward-thinking, consensus-oriented, pro-devolution and adheres to international standards. Thirty-five critical LLRC recommendations (related to demilitarization, land, language rights and disappearances, among other issues) are highlighted in this document. Implementation will be two-tiered, pertaining to the North-East and also countrywide. Significantly, most of the LLRC PAP’s enactment will rely upon existing governmental agencies. The plan’s implementation is built around an appropriate regional governance structure which will be absorbed into existing governance structures.

The LLRC, another presidentially-appointed commission, has finished its work. For the betterment of the country, the positive recommendations of the LLRC can and should be implemented without further delay. Though still unlikely in the near-term, a return to violence in the coming years is not out of the question.


SL government is incapable of looking inward into its own morass of governance failures and the reasons why it so readily resorts to carrying out mass crimes against its own citizens under cover of stolen sovereignty which rightly belongs to "the people" under its own constitution! The other reason is the PTA so eradly borrowed in the 1970 from Afrikaaner South Africa and used to such devastating effect in the island that the killings there pale into insignificance compared to a country which hides behind Buddhsim which is accorded foremost official religious status. Even the LLRC report leaves untouched the subject of mass killings and accountabilty and was content to deal only with the subject of reconciliaition and its connected widely known factors culled from experiences since independence. Three years on there has been no progress even along this limited mandate revealing its unwillingness to face the issues to bring about abetter future. Instead what is happening is a steady erosion of the rule of law and justice and contnuing impunity. Even the Chief Justice, a High Court judge and a Magistrate have been subjected to impeachment, physical intimidation and threats to their personal safety! The ordinary ctizen must surely feel totally lost in such a state that he/seh has been robbed of his/her sovereignty and physical safety.


Action Plan was meant to hoodwink the international community as none of the plans is implemented yet on the ground. People are still missing, the military interferes with civilian life of Tamil speaking people of north and east, heavy military deployment suffocates the locals and rehabilitation or resettlement is not satisfactory to those intended to help. The government must publish a list of plans (LLRC PAP) as they are implemented.

Alex Pandian
Alex Pandian

Sri Lanka has a long history of establishing ad hoc commissions to deflect international criticism over its very poor human rights record and widespread culture of impunity, Human Rights Watch said. Since independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has established at least 10 such commissions, none of which have produced any significant results.

The announcement of another ad hoc commission of "lessons learnt and reconciliation" came after a months-long campaign by the Sri Lankan government to prevent Ban from establishing a panel of experts to advise him on accountability in Sri Lanka after the war ended in May 2009.

Every time the international community raises the issue of accountability, Sri Lanka establishes a commission that takes a long time to achieve nothing,"

"UN should put an end to this game of smoke and mirrors and begin a process that would ensure justice for all the victims of Sri Lanka's war.

Govt may well be continuing its human rights abuses with these arbitrary arrests and executions.