UN upbeat about steering committee report | Sunday Observer

UN upbeat about steering committee report

The United Nations has expressed delight at the submission of the constitutional steering committee’s interim report on the proposed new constitution to the Sri Lankan Parliament.

United Nations (UN), Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman and Director, Peacebuilding Support Office at United Nations, Mari Yamashita have conveyed their satisfaction to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiran, a member of the steering committee.

The MP said the UN representatives were of the opinion that the new constitution would be a major boost to the reconciliation process, if the legislature enacted it, with the full participation and support of all political parties and citizens of the country.

Sumanthiran, who was in the US last week, held discussions with several senior officials of the United Nations (UN), on Tuesday (October 2) and Wednesday, at the UN Head Quarters in New York.

“TNA too is delighted that the interim report has finally been tabled in Parliament. Several parties have made comments on the main report. Therefore, Steering Committee has to discuss and reach a consensus on the matter,” Sumanthiran told the Sunday Observer.

He said discussions with Mari Yamashita also focused on the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) set up by the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

“ONUR is the channel through which peace-building works. The discussions were on efficacy and further needs of *ONUR,” *he explained, adding that the UN representative pledged support to Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts with regard to reconciliation.

The UN representatives also raised concerns about delays in setting up the Office of Missing Persons (OMP), despite passage of necessary legislation in Parliament, the MP said.

He added that the discussions also centered on the progress the current government has made in implementing the UNHRC resolutions, which Sri Lanka co-sponsored in 2015 and 2017.