It is said that Truth is the first casualty of war. I want to say today that Truth is also the first step in reconciliation. It is in recognition of this principle that after the struggle to end Apartheid in South Africa, the process that united the country was called the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”.said Tamil National Aliance parliamentarian Sumanthiran recently in London.
In Sri Lanka too, many Truths about the war were hidden and continue to remain hidden. It is time for us in Sri Lanka to uncover the truth, face up to it, and move forward towards reconciliation. The end of the war in May 2009 provided us with a great opportunity for that. Unfortunately, triumphalism and narrow, parochial self interest has prevailed for the last four years resulting in more damage being done to the social fabric and the institutional safeguards in our country than what they suffered even during the years of war. Violations of human rights were rife, as can be expected, whilst the war raged. But sadly, the end of the war did not turn things around.