Statement by the Secretary-General on Sri Lanka’s counting of the dead
2 December 2013
Statement by: Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma
Last week’s announcement by the Government of Sri Lanka that it will conduct a national census to determine the extent of the loss of life during the country’s 26-year old civil war, is a welcome step. This will advance the process of post-conflict reconciliation sought in the national Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation report.
It is our understanding that the national census exercise will collect information on deaths, on missing, injured and disabled persons, as well as damage to property due to internal conflicts from 1982 onwards. We hope that every attempt will be made to record accurately the information and chronologies provided by victims, families and witnesses. We encourage all concerned to provide the information required.
We hope the findings of this census will be made public after its completion. Healing and enduring reconciliation will only come about when the truth is known about what happened in the past.