Two eminent Sri Lankans joined the international election observer mission to observe and assess the conduct of the general election in Sierra Leone on June 24, 2023, in which The country’s president, parliament, and other local representatives will be elected. Retired Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Rohini Marasinghe was part of the 11-member Commonwealth election observation mission. headed by the former Vice President of the Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and High Commissioner Veluppillai Kananathan, who is a well-known personality in Africa, was invited by the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone to join the international observer mission. It was a unique occurrence that two members from Sri Lanka were included in the international election observer mission in an African country.

High Commissioner Kananathan has already been engaged as an election observer in the recent general elections in Kenya and Nigeria. While on the election observation mission,

During her visit to Sierra Leone, Justice Rohini Marasinghe, a retired Supreme Court Judge and the current chair of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, intends to meet with Bishop Dr. Joseph Humper, chairman of the TRC ( Truth and Reconciliation Commission) in Sierra Leone, early next week. She had a conversation with Yasmin Jusu-Sheriff over the phone, and the meeting is fixed for Sunday. The

Human rights abuses occurred in Sierra Leone between 1991 and 2002. Justice

Justice Marasinghe said that Sri Lanka studied the experiences of the TRC in South Africa and added that Sri Lanka was in the process of establishing a suitable model of truth and reconciliation, and the normative Act of the TRC is already in the preparatory process. She said that the country is very much committed to dealing with the past conflict in the North and East as well as the conflict in the South in the 70s and 80s and moving forward, as both parties committed atrocities and now the time has come to put an end to that dark era.

She said that the most important matter is to understand the challenges faced by the TRC in Sierra Leone and the manner in which it could overcome those challenges.

Justice Marasisnsghe further explained that it is important that before the country moves towards transitional justice, there be a well-established agreement with the families of the victims and the perpetrators. The terms of reference of the commission, including its mandate and composition, must be acceptable to all concerned.

Justice Marasinghe intends to have a full briefing on this matter with the local members of the TRC in Sierra Leone.