Delegation To South Africa Will Mainly Focus On TRC - Govt

February 10, 2014

The ministerial delegation who will visit South Africa this month will primarily focus on seeking technical assistance on formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Sri Lanka, a senior government spokesman told ‘Asian Mirror’.

He also added that the government has already initiated a dialogue with the South African Diplomatic mission in Colombo on the matter.

“When South African President Jacob Zuma visited Sri Lanka in November for Commonwealth Heads of Government summit he promised the Sri Lankan government that South Africa will offer its fullest assistance to form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka following the South African model,” he said.

The ministerial delegation’s visit to South Africa ahead of the UNHRC session in Geneva is an extension of the same process, the spokesman added.

South African social rights activist and retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa which was appointed by the late Nelson Mandela after he came to power in 1993. It is still not clear whether then Sri Lanka delegation to South Africa will meet Desmond Tutu during their stay in the country.

Tutu was critical of the conduct of the Sri Lankan government in the aftermath of war.

The lead story of the ‘Daily Mirror’ newspaper today (10) reported that a ministerial delegation will visit South Africa to lobby support from countries in the region to defeat a likely US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka.

“South Africa is known to have influence over the UNHRC member countries in the African region. However, the dates for the visit and the composition of the delegation have not been finalized,” the Daily Mirror lead story said. 

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