Colombo, Politics and Governance, Reconciliation

Recommendations for ICT and Research Supported Enhancement of the Effectiveness of the LLRC

S. M. Samarakoon Esq.
Secretary,
Presidential Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation,
24, Horton Place,
Colombo 7.

Dear Mr. Samarakoon,

Recommendations for ICT and Research Supported Enhancement of the Effectiveness of the LLRC

As a follow up to the submissions made before the Presidential Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation on 23rd September 2010, I have pleasure in submitting the following recommendations for enhancement of the effectiveness of the LLRC, leveraging Information Communications Technology and Research options;

  • The LLRC to take urgent steps to set up a widely publicized, fully functional multi lingual web site,  to serve the following facilitation needs of the Commission and at the same time satisfy the communication needs and expectations of the stakeholder publics;
  1. Information on the Warrant of the Commission, Details of Commissioners, Staff of the Commission, Contact details, Progress to date including public hearings and visits, Notices published by the Commission,  Events and hearings calendar, Picture Gallery, News/Publications and Press Releases, FAQ’s, Useful Links,
  2. Stakeholder public duly identifying themselves and stating their full personal and identity details be allowed to file their submissions before the Commission via the web, in the language of their choice. This will provide a link in effective networking with the Commission via the web, using the communications service centre’s spread across island, with the web allowing the discretion to be exercised by the subscriber in regard to the choice as to whether  such submissions are to be available for public viewing or not. The webmaster will however retain the final authority on publication related decisions. Where full transparent information communications are desired, the public at large can also be allowed to make comments on these web entries publicly available for viewing. (ie similar to the facilities available to subscribers of Groundviews and Transparency International Web sites)
  3. The Commission could place for public comment strategic questions as well as requests for comments on focused subjects and areas. The Commission can thereby invite public comments, information requests, and even public vote for and against stated issues, positions and suggestions.
  4. Interim Reports ( non Confidential nature ) of the Commission
  • Initiate setting up of a web facilitated “Integration and Reconciliation Fund” for voluntary subscription by  Sri Lankan citizens including the Diaspora, Local and Multi National Businesses, International Community, International Funding Agencies, NGO’s and Philanthropists. The Fund should be administered by duly appointed Trustees with a Bank as the Fund Manager. The resources so mobilized will be used for provision of  essential and prioritized spends in supporting relief, resettlement, reconstruction, reconciliation and re-awakening needs of conflict affected areas  and residents of the North and East, as directed by the Commissioners
  • Set up Research Unit to support the information needs of the Commission. This Unit comprising of young multi-disciplinary professionals with required language proficiency and technology capability, be recruited on contract or as volunteers to serve as apprentices and engage them to scan the available publications, research reports, surveys, workshop outcomes, available on the web, libraries and with civil society organizations, as well international experiences in areas of relevance and any focused areas determined by the Commission
  • Set up an Information Processing and Validation Unit which will inter alia process, analyze, summarize, validate and control all submissions, complaints and information received by the Commission  / Commissioners via delivery, post or web (including the responsibilities for the facilities referred to in 1 above) and should include some professionals with expertise in investigations, web management and information technology management
  • All staff members, volunteers, apprentices and service providers be required to enter in to Information Secrecy and Non Disclosure contractual commitments.

    I trust that you will kindly share these suggestions with the Commissioners and take early steps towards the implementation of accepted recommendations.

    Wishing you and your team all success in effectively supporting the Commissioners in delivering the desired outcomes as per the Presidential Warrant..

    Yours Sincerely,

    Chandra Jayaratne

    [Editors note: Also read Submission before Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) by Chandra Jayaratne]

    • punitham

      Thank youuuuuuuuuu, Chandra.

    • sapper

      ha ha am happy to realize that GOVT has provided resettled ppl of north/east with internet connections and PCs!
      else who are there to go on internet and tell LLRC actual situation 😉

    • justitia

      It is reported that those who gave evidence in the north before the commission were photogaphed/videoed by state intelligence personnel.
      This is plainly an act of intimidation.
      The Commissioners should explain why this was allowed but journalists from the BBC were not allowed to record the proceedings.

    • Gnanendramohan

      LLRC is fake and everyone in Sri Lanka knows it

      Most Sri Lankans have got used to the fact that if you don’t support those in power then you won’t get anything from the government and that this is normal.

      Three or four days ago a Puttalam UPFA MP and a bunch of goons beat up a Dankutowa traffic policeman because he had given a ticket to the MP’s son for riding a motor cycle without a helmet.

      The really sad thing was that all the comments on the newspaper report on the web considered this quite normal.

      The police have just restarted their policy of shooting dead those they considered to be criminals claiming they tried to throw a hand grenade at them whilst being taken to search for arms (three murdered in the last fortnight).

      It scarcely rates a mention in the local newspapers and is generally accepted by the population.

      The same policy was carried out last year with the open support of the government and head of the police force, and was only put to an end when the OIC of a local police station took it to its logical conclusion and murdered a couple of lads who had insulted his girlfriend.

      And the whitewashing of Mervyn Silva, who abused his position as deputy minister to tie a government worker to a tree for not turning up to a Mervyn photo-opportunity he had no right to ask her to attend in working hours anyway, has made it clear that anything the government wants goes.

      Now much of this has been happening for the last thirty years, but at least the people could throw the government out and vote in the other side, so there was some kind of imperfect control.

      With effective one party government, journalists afraid to criticize, government servants afraid to whistleblow, and the government prepared to prosecute the opposition on all kinds of trumped up charges (the police are charging the printer of a set of opposition posters criticizing the 18th amendment on the grounds that they would have annoyed government supporters and thus caused public unrest), as well as the withdrawal of security from those who criticize the government, it is becoming clear that we are heading for a Mexican system without even the cosmetic change at the top the one term limit forces on the ruling party.

    • punitham

      sapper
      On this website some Sinhalese who went down A9 up to Jaffna gave the world some info.
      People using the internet have seen what and how some in the Vanni told LLRC.

    • punitham

      This is how the Peace Secretariat should have worked. But it worked like a War Secretariat.

    • punitham

      “Integration and Reconciliation Fund” should be set up (and run as suggested) asap.

      Wii Friday Forum seek the help of foreign missions to persuade the President or something like that?