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SL learning from South Africa’s model of reconciliation, says G.L. Pieris

  • Meets South African counterpart in New York

Sri Lanka has been studying South Africa’s experience in the areas of post-conflict reconciliation and transparency to develop its own insight into these matters, according to Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris.

He had stated this when meeting South African Minister for International Relations and Co-operation Dr. Naledi Pandor at the Permanent Mission of South Africa in New York, last Friday (24) for a meeting on the sidelines of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Minister Peiris had been accompanied by Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage.

Minister Peiris had noted that Sri Lanka had closely looked at South Africa’s experience in this regard, and shared details of Sri Lanka’s own initiatives, including its Office of Missing Persons and Office of Reparations, as well as their contribution towards Sri Lanka’s post-conflict development and national unity.

Minister Pandor had replied that South Africa was pleased to share its experiences and lessons with countries looking to address post-conflict issues and that they continued to learn lessons in addressing past human rights abuses and on issues related to reparations. 

Minister Peiris had also recalled his long association with South Africa dating to his Doctoral work, where he had visited South African universities and conducted a series of lectures on constitutional law. The Minister also recalled fondly his close friendships and connections with prominent and leading South African Minister Dullah Omar, and leading personalities Roelf Meyer and Ebrahim Ebrahim, who played pivotal roles in the freedom struggle against the Apartheid Government. He also noted that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had attended the funeral of late President Nelson Mandela.

The two Ministers invited each other to their respective countries, and appreciated the close co-operation between both nations in the multilateral arena.