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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

National Programme to Reintegrate Ex-combatants Into Civilian Life

FOLLOWING a series of intensive and wide-ranging discussions with diverse stakeholders, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights has developed a National Framework Proposal to reintegrate ex-combatants into civilian life.

The National Framework Proposal on the Reintegration of Ex-combatants into Civilian Life in Sri Lanka will be presented today for validation at a workshop convened by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, a ministry release said yesterday.

The National Framework Proposal is primarily designed to achieve the following goals: to safeguard the human rights of ex-combatants including the responsibility to protect and assist them in accordance with the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Government’s international obligations; to contribute towards sustainable peace, reconciliation and social cohesion; and to increase the employability of ex-combatants, minimise their risk of socio-economic marginalisation and create opportunities for economic revitalisation in post-war Sri Lanka.

 "The successful completion of the National Framework Proposal on the Reintegration of Ex-combatants is testimony to the Government’s commitment to promoting reconciliation and development in an equitable manner. The crucial next step is to implement the proposed reintegration framework without delay so that peace in Sri Lanka will be sustainable," Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe was quoted as saying in the release.

"The Ministry is mandated to formulate and implement policies, programmes and projects for disaster mitigation, response and recovery; and also to initiate and coordinate foreign aided projects for disaster mitigation, response and recovery. "Disaster" is defined in the Sri Lanka Disaster Management Act No 13 of 2005, as "the actual or imminent occurrence of a natural or man-made event, which endangers or threatens to endanger the safety or health of any person or group of persons in Sri Lanka, or which destroys or damages or threatens to destroy or damage any property, and includes" an incidence of "civil or internal strife". As the existence of ex-combatants is directly referable to the conflict in Sri Lanka – an obvious example of a man-made disaster – which recently culminated in the successful humanitarian operations carried out by the military, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights has a direct responsibility to formulate policies and work with other Government focal points that enjoy a mandate to implement programmes to reintegrate ex-combatants," he said.

The National Framework Proposal for Ex-combatants is expected to be used as a Road Map by the different Government focal points charged with the mandate of implementing the different facets of a comprehensive reintegration strategy. The Proposal will also be embodied as part of the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights being prepared by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights as a consequence of the Universal Periodic Review process in Geneva. (Courtesy: The Island)