Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda
Rajapaksa today appointed a five-member high-level committee
to look into a US Congress report that alleged human rights
violations by both the Army and LTTE during the last phase of
the 30-year-old civil war.
The committee would be headed by legal expert D S
Wijesinghe, Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights
Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters here.
Rajapaksa had last week said that he would appoint an
independent committee to comprehensively examine and provide
recommendations on the report.
The report, submitted by the US State Department to
the Congress, had charged that both the government and the now
vanquished LTTE "serious" human rights violations in the final
months of the conflict.
The 68-page report prepared by the War Crimes Office
lists 170 human rights violations between May 2 and 18.
Rajapaksa`s move comes a day after Chief of Army Staff
Gen Sarath Fonseka returned to the country today after cutting
short a US visit to skip grilling by the authorities there on
alleged human rights violations.
The committee will submit a report to the President
before December 31 after which a "consolidated response" to
the State Department report will be formulated.
The other members are Nihal Jayamanna, President`s
Counsel, C R De Silva, former Attorney General, Manoramanadan,
Attorney at Law and educationist Jesima Ismail.