On 2 May 2017, in a historic Move, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Sri Lanka approved Sri Lanka’s first National Reconciliation Policy.
The National Reconciliation Policy declares that will “serve as the State policy on reconciliation” and “provide to the process of national reconciliation in Sri Lanka.” Further, it says that it will “provide a guiding framework to all stakeholders working on reconciliation in order to achieve coherence on reconciliation initiatives.”
The National Policy on Reconciliation is set to fill a long-standing vacuum due to the absence of a consolidated national Policy on Reconciliation. The National Policy on Reconciliation will aim to satisfy the need of the country for an over-arching vision on reconciliation and a board, coherent framework to steer and direct the process of national reconciliation. In this regard, it declares that, “Acknowledging that while several reconciliation initiatives are underway, there does not exist an expressed declared policy by the Government of Sri Lanka on the subject; hence this National Policy on Reconciliation aims to bridge this gap.”
This National Reconciliation Policy has laid down a set of “Policy Principles” which it defines as “A set of actionable principles and long-term goals that form the basis for making rules and guidelines, and to provide overall direction to planning and development for national reconciliation. These include Equality, Human Rights, Justice and the Rule of Law, Transitional Justice, Inclusivity and Diversity, Sustainable Development, Civic Consciousness and others. The National Reconciliation Policy also lays down guidelines for stakeholders and actors implementing reconciliation programs and has identified the following as critical to it, namely, Conflict Sensitivity, Cross-Cultural Awareness, Victim-Centeredness, Gender Responsiveness, Foresight and Innovation, Leadership and Sustainability, Efficiency and Effectiveness, Coordination and Complementarity and Clear and Consistent Communication.
The National Reconciliation Policy includes an Implementation Strategy which has stated as follows: “Mainstream the values defined in the National Policy on Reconciliation within government institutions and existing national initiatives through annual work plans; Develop a National Programme and Action Plan for Reconciliation; and Launch public awareness and education campaigns on the National Policy on Reconciliation and the National Programme and Action Plan on Reconciliation.”
The soft copies of National Reconciliation Policy in all three languages can be accessed at