The international community should respond positively to Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process than suggesting punitive measures against the Island nation recovering from three decades war, Congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia said.
During a TV interview with state media, the US Congressman said that an internal solution found within the boundaries of a country will be the best for an issue such as reconciliation.
“Because if you get the UN, the United States, the EU or whomever from outside dictating the reconciliation, usually all it does is support the factions”, he said.
Congressman Kingston expressed confidence over Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission as a positive step towards a meaningful reconciliation process.
“I think the reconciliation commission is the right way to do it … when you have a name like lessons learnt, it shows this isn’t necessarily about right or wrong or correcting everything. It is about what we learned from that experience in order to keep from having it again”, he said.
“I think not only is it good for Sri Lanka, but it is actually a model that the other countries who have had internal strife to follow…” he added.
Expressing his candid opinion of how the international community could be involved in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process, he said it should take a realistic approach.
“I think if the international community puts more pressure on Sri Lanka from the outside, that the international community can overplay its hands”, he said.
“Rather than saying you have to do this, on a timeline we set, or we are going to punish you…the international community cannot understand the internal culture of every country in the world, you’ve got to let that own country to sort things out somewhat in their own way on their internal timetable. I think it is lot more realistic to do it that way”, he added.
Speaking about the experience he had during his recent visit to Sri Lanka, congressman Kingston highlighted the eagerness of Sri Lankan people to move forward.
“People do need to move into the next period of economic growth, development and prosperity. Sometimes you’ve got to let go of the past and when you do that, the best way to do that is domestically”, he said.
Congressman Jack Kingston represents the 1st Congressional district of Georgia in the United States. He is a member of the House Appropriation Committee which directs the United States government spending.
He is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies and a member of the Subcommittee on Defense and the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies that function under the Appropriation Committee.