Tony Blair identifies seven principles for Sri Lanka’s reconciliation

Tony Blair

Aug 28, 2015 (LBO) – Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivering the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture recently outlined seven principles for a successful reconciliation process.

“I think I can identify, based on my experience not only in Northern Ireland but elsewhere, seven principles of successful reconciliation,”

First principle is the continued absence of conflict, Blair revealed.

“For reconciliation to succeed, you should never lose sight of the fact that the very basis of it is the absence of conflict and that has to be maintained.” he pointed out.

According to former British PM, secondly the reconciliation framework needs to be fair and Sri Lanka will also have to work out its own framework.

“Obviously there are issues around devolution, guarantee of rights, development and dignity and fair treatment which will have to be resolved,”

“You cannot get reconciliation for the future without a framework for the future which is fair – and seen to be fair – that allows for disagreements to happen within a normal political process without a cycle of violence.” he emphasized.

Third has been identified as unity and diversity.

“This balance is fundamental to the pursuit of reconciliation for as more and more people come to cross those boundaries that separate different cultures, the value of unity alongside diversity will only increase.” he said.

The fourth principle is the importance to reconciliation of economic development and the fifth is education.

As per Blair’s identification, ‘the dialogue’ should be the sixth principle where it also has to be deep, inclusive and constant.

Blair stated that the seventh and final principle for successful reconciliation is the past that cannot be erased and never forgotten.

“But it can be confined in some way so that it does not disrupt the possibilities for the future and where the past is examined it should be examined for the truth and not for any retribution,”

“I believe there is a methodology in reconciliation. You have to get good people in charge of it. Make sure it is organized properly.” Blair said.

Persevere is his final advice for the effective implementation of reconciliation.

“Persevere and secure a very clear understanding about different cultures people grow up in different ways but somethings are held in common.” he finally said.