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What Does Reconciliation Mean

What Does Reconciliation Mean

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Published by: Thavam on Oct 30, 2013
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By Neville Ladduwahetty-
October 29, 2013, 12:00 pm
 Judging from the opinions expressed by commentators, analysts both nationally and internationally, it is evident that Reconciliation has different meanings to different people. o some, Reconciliation is a process of healing while to others it means ruth or Justice, and to yet others it means Nation Building and!or "c#nowledgement!"ccountability of what happened. $hile any one or mix of the mentioned interpretations of what Reconciliation means may be applicable to certain particular circumstances, there is no clear understanding of what reconciliation means and therefore what needs to be done to bring about Reconciliation. he only condition that all are agreed upon is that without Reconciliation there is no going forward.Reconciliation re%uires that there is consensus between the parties concerned as to what needs to be addressed for Reconciliation to be meaningful. &or instance, in the case of the 'outh "frican experience discussions between the apartheid regime and those opposed to it extended over a considerable period to determine the procedures and processes for meaningful Reconciliation. (espite this preparation, opinions differ vastly as to whether there is meaningful Reconciliation today in 'outh "frica after nearly two decades.)n the case of 'ri Lan#a such discussions did not ta#e place between the parties concerned. )nstead, based on a *oint statement between the +resident of 'ri Lan#a and the 'ecretary eneral of the nited Nations a +residential ommission, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation ommission /LLR0 was appointed on 1ay 23, 4525. he ommission sought opinions from as wide a spectrum as possible of 'ri Lan#a6s citi7ens and published a report of what the LLR considered should be addressed for there to be Reconciliation. (espite the initial misgivings as to the composition of the ommission, the report was accepted by the )nternational ommunity and resolutions passed by the N in eneva calling for the implementation of what is commonly #nown as LLR Recommendations. his is what the 'ri Lan#an overnment is currently engaged in and in fact is being faulted for perceived short falls in its
implementation.89'):N';2. )f the general principle is for parties to a conflict to agree on the issues as to what needs to be addressed to resolve differences and bring about Reconciliation, have the )nternational ommunity and the nited Nations misdirected the Reconciliation process in 'ri Lan#a by calling for the implementation of the LLR Recommendations without consensus between the parties concerned<4. )f as a conse%uence of the process adopted under pressure from the N which represents the )nternational ommunity, in the implementation of recommendations /that essentially are unilateral0, the Reconciliation process fails to meet the desired ob*ectives, should N: the N be held accountable<)t should be noted however, that even if they are, it means very little because at the end of the day it would be 'ri Lan#a that would have to face the conse%uences if outcomes are negative.N99( for :N'9N''he recommendations of the LLR are primarily based on opinions and views expressed by a cross section of 'ri Lan#a6s citi7enry and what the ommission perceived as to what was needed to bring about Reconciliation. =aving developed the recommendations there is no evidence as to whether the ommission attempted to see# the views of the leadership of the amil community. )f it did, and the amil leadership did not cooperate the only option open is to proceed without consensus. nder these circumstances, it is unrealistic to expect the processes of Reconciliation to succeed, since meaningful Reconciliation re%uires consensus and commitment on the part of the parties concerned.he 9xecutive 'ummary of the N"6s analytical response to LLR report in its second paragraph states; >he LLR6s processes and practices have failed to win the confidence of the amil community. he ommission also fails dramatically short of )nternational standards applicable to accountability processes>/he )sland, January 2?, 45240. he overnment should have brought the N"6s opinion of the LLR recommendations to
the attention of the )nternational ommunity, the N and in particular )ndia. here is a lacuna on the part of the overnment in this regard. he need is for the overnment of 'ri Lan#a to bring to the attention of those engaged with 'ri Lan#a and others who are critical of it, that the processes leading to Reconciliation being implemented do not in fact have the endorsement of the amil leadership and therefore the Reconciliation is unilateral. nder the circumstances the )nternational ommunity, the N and )ndia in particular become *ointly responsible for not bringing pressure on the N" to participate in the implementation processes, since Reconciliation is in the interest of all concerned.he responsibility for the implementation of the LLR recommendations was with the overnment until the election of the Northern +rovincial ouncil /N+0. $ith a functioning N+ in place, some of the responsibilities come under provisions of devolved powers thereby ma#ing the N+ and overnment *ointly responsible for the implementation of the LLR recommendations. his fact should be brought to the attention of the )nternational ommunity, the N and )ndia in particular. )n view of these altered circumstances the overnment and the N+ should *ointly develop clear separation of activities in regard to their separate responsibilities. he result of such an exercise would be the development of a Revised "ction +lan based on consensus which in the future should be the basis for review.R9:N)L)"):N =R:= ::+9R"):Nhe merits of a Revised "ction +lan would be to create the need for the setting up of a *oint mechanism to monitor progress and wherever necessary to intervene to build capacities and infuse resources to meet re%uired contingencies. 'uch *oint efforts have the potential to develop and strengthen Reconciliation processes that were not there when recommendations to foster Reconciliation were developed during and after the deliberation of the LLR. herefore, the presence of N+ has the potential to nurture a new environment of cooperation with benefits to all. =owever, while the potential is there, outcomes would depend on the attitudes of the parties concerned@ i.e., whether there is a genuine commitment to Reconciliation or not.$hile the potential for Reconciliation through cooperation is a real possibility, the N+ may opt to implement those provisions devolved under the 2Ath "mendment without engaging with the 'ri Lan#an overnment in

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