The Commonwealth has opted to make a practical difference to the situation in Sri Lanka instead of criticizing the lack of progress from afar, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma stated in a letter to foreign media.
In a letter titled ‘Wait before you judge Sri Lanka’, Sharma explains that Sri Lanka still has much to do to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission but added that it was a homegrown roadmap for achieving a multi-ethnic nation at peace with itself.
He explained that the Commonwealth was active in Sri Lanka in advancing its values which include human rights, media, judiciary and mutual respect and understanding within communities.
Wait before you judge Sri Lanka
From Mr Kamalesh Sharma.
Sir, Sri Lanka still has much to do to implement its post-conflict Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission report (“A Sri Lanka summit discredits the Commonwealth“, Gideon Rachman, June 25). This is a homegrown roadmap for achieving a multi-ethnic nation at peace with itself. The question for the international community is whether to criticize the lack of progress from afar in implementing that report or to offer and to make a practical difference. The Commonwealth has opted for the latter, and the Sri Lankan government even now is identifying the areas where we will help. We are active in Sri Lanka in advancing Commonwealth values, including human rights, the media, judiciary, and building mutual respect and understanding in communities.
Our Commonwealth soft power and behind the scenes contributions can often be at risk of negative judgment in the short term, but our success is invariably measured positively in the longer term in the form of real progress. To walk away and not to stay the course would be to the Commonwealth’s lasting discredit.
Kamalesh Sharma, Commonwealth Secretary-General, London SW1, UK