Rajapaksa appoints panel to look into US report
Last Updated: Friday, November 06, 2009, 18:53
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.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, November 06, 2009, 18:53

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