Colombo, Oct 2 – President Maithripala Sirisena is a possible contender for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, the Reuters News Agency reported.
Sirisena was sworn in on 9 January 2015 at Independence Square in Colombo after winning over incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was seeking a third term.
After his election, Sirisena announced an interim cabinet he said would carry out reforms to fight corruption in the first 100 days after his election.
He appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and Minister of Reconciliation, Policy Development and Economic Affairs. Sirisena has worked to heal the wounds of the civil war that culminated in the killing of thousands of civilians, mostly Tamils, in a military onslaught against Tamil separatists, the Tamil Tigers, that ended in 2009.
The Government proposed the setting up of several mechanisms to strengthen good governance; promote, protect and uphold human rights and foster reconciliation.
In January 2016, the Government proposed plans for a new constitution aimed at devolving power and preventing the kind of ethnic tensions that led to the long civil war that ended in 2009 and to strengthen democracy, promote reconciliation and establish a political culture that respects the rule of law.
The Sirisena administration’s move was been welcomed by the international community but the United Nations criticised Sri Lanka in July 2017 for slow progress in addressing war crimes and past human rights abuses and said the international community was running out of patience.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in Oslo on Friday, 6 October, at 1100 a.m. (0900GMT) and the prize, worth nine million Swedish crowns ($ 1.12 million), will be handed over on 10 December.