Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told a meeting in Washington on Friday that the Government had taken a bold initiative to appoint an international observer group to the Commission of Inquiry for investigating alleged human rights violation since it had nothing to hide and is committed to ensure such violations don`t go unpunished.
`The appointment of the IIGEP (International Independent Group of Eminent Persons) is a unique arrangement by a country faced with alleged human rights violations,` he said addressing the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
`I would like to emphasise that while it is making all efforts to address concerns of alleged human rights violations, the Government will take preventive measures and will remain responsible and accountable,` the Minister said.
Bogollagama also called for a special effort by the international community to persuade the Tamil Diaspora, whose funding is the primary source of sustenance of the LTTE, to support the Sri Lankan Government`s efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict rather than contributing to fuel the separatist conflict.
He said the LTTE can no longer run away from negotiations on the basis of its past claims that Lankan leaders failed to evolve a southern consensus.
`Today it is hard to deny the fact that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been able to muster the broadest possible political coalition in recent Sri Lankan political history and is well poised for achieving the Southern consensus to offer maximum possible devolution without adversely affecting the unity and territorial integrity of the country`.
He said devolution proposals will be placed before the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) which has been the vehicle through which Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Rajapaksa has sought to move the peace process forward.
`Over the past 13 months, the APRC has gone through a painstaking process with the aim of evolving a `southern consensus to devolve power`, the Minister said adding that as a result very soon, after considering the views of all stakeholders, Sri Lanka will place before the people a comprehensive political proposal for their approval.