Sri Lanka war commission seeks term extension

Sri Lanka`s reconciliation commission, appointed last year to look into the last seven years of the war with the LTTE, has sought an extension of term to prepare its report.

Colombo: Sri Lanka`s reconciliation commission, appointed last year to look into the last seven years of the war with the LTTE, has sought an extension of term to prepare its report.

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was set to end its term on May 15 but its spokeperson said that the large amount of evidence it is dealing with requires more time to conclude the job.

"Our term was due to end on May 15. But in view of the large volumes of evidence that we have recorded both orally and in writing we have been forced to ask for more time to prepare our report," LLRC`s media spokesman Lakshman Wickremasinghe said today.

He said the commission had written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week to ask for the time extension. The LLRC was appointed by Rajapaksa a year ago to report on the conflict between February 2002 and May 2009 that ended with the military defeat of the LTTE.

Its demand for term extension comes after a UN advisory panel report, that found both the military and the LTTE culpable in war crimes, raised tempers in Sri Lanka.

Wickremasinghe, however, said the UN panel report was no consideration when making the decision to ask for the extension of time.

The three-member UN panel report which has asked for an independent investigation into alleged war crimes committed by both the government and the LTTE has said "the mandate of the LLRC as well as its work and methodology to date are not tailored to investigating allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, or to examining the root causes of the decades long conflict".

Sri Lanka, however, maintains that the LLRC has been mandated to serve the accountability aspect of the conflict and its findings would be treated with the seriousness they deserve.

PTI

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