The Reparations Bill is a very important Bill that would improve the living standards of the people and many shortcomings that existed in the past would be rectified by this, said Foreign Minister Tilak Marapone, joining the debate on the Reparations Bill.
“This piece of legislation covers all parties throughout the country and would ensure justice to all Sri Lankans. The objectives of this act is set out in clause 2 of this Bill and it says it is to formulate and recommend to the Cabinet of Ministers policies on reparations to grant individual and collective reparations to aggrieved persons.
This Bill also covers those persons who have suffered due to political unrest and disturbances in the course of gross violations of the rights of individuals, people who have suffered due to the conflict in the North and East,” he noted.
He added that there is much to be achieved by this piece of legislation because earlier when people suffered due to various riots and civil disturbances, there was no permanent mechanism for reparation for some of the damage that had taken place. Instead, he said there were add hock Cabinet papers that were presented, but those Cabinet papers did not ensure justice to all those persons who had suffered.
“Hence, I think by the permanent establishment of a body by way of the Reparations Office, it is a laudable effort to address all those incidents that had occurred in the past. I believe that the scope of this legislation would be wide enough to all categories of persons irrespective of their community and political differences,” he said, adding that anyone in Sri Lanka who had suffered as a result of these civil disturbances, during any type of upheaval, would now have an opportunity to seek reparation.
He stressed that human rights should be taken seriously for the sake of our own people so that their living conditions would be made better and they would enjoy the fruits of life. As a responsible government, he said these are matters that should be ensured in place so that the people could reap their benefits