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* Sri Lanka says against internationalization of reconciliation process
Fri, Feb 15, 2013, 12:50 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 14 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- The Sri Lankan government is against the internationalization of the post-war reconciliation process in the country, a government statement said on Thursday. Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN Palitha Kohona said that Sri Lanka must have the time and space to complete the reconciliation process that has already seen tremendous progress.

"Sri Lanka will continue to take all necessary measures to heal the wounds of conflict on its own, as the internationalization of the reconciliation process, would only result in stymying the progress, particularly since it is a domestically developed process," he said.

He also said that the government has taken firm action against reported cases of violence against women and girls during the conflict and the post-conflict period.

During the conflict between January 2007 and May 2009, Dr. Kohona said that seven security forces personnel were reported as having been involved in five incidents of sexual violence in the north of the country. This is out of a total of 125 persons accused in 119 incidents for the entirety of the Northern Province.

In the post conflict period between May 2009 and May 2012, he said that 10 security forces personnel were reported as having been involved in six incidents of sexual violence in the North. This is out of a total of 307 persons accused in 256 incidents for the entire Northern Province.

Kohona said that the involvement of Security Forces personnel as a percentage of the total accused stands at 5.6 percent in the conflict period and 3.3 percent in the post-conflict period.

"Legal action has been taken by the government in all of the above cases in which the Sri Lankan Security Forces personnel have been involved. The military has taken stringent action, including discharging offenders or imposing other punishments. Furthermore, cases have also been filed in normal criminal courts. In a majority of the above cases, the perpetrators have been close relatives or neighbours of the victim," he said.

Human rights groups have been calling for an international investigation into alleged abuses committed in Sri Lanka, including by the security forces, during the final stages of the war against the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Read More:: Xinhua (Source)