Colombo, Politics and Governance, Reconciliation

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

S. M. Samarakoon Esq.
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]