Colombo: Sri Lanka announced the
government-appointed panel looking into the island`s civil war
that ended last year would hold its first public hearings
The eight-member panel will hear testimony for five
days in the capital Colombo and two days in Vavuniya, near the
former war zone, an official statement said today.
The probe is expected to focus on why a 2002 truce
between the government and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels
collapsed and led to more fighting.
The president`s office said in a statement that the
panel was also tasked with recommending measures to ensure
that Sri Lanka did not return to conflict.
Sri Lanka has rejected a separate United Nations
probe into alleged rights abuses during the final stages of
The UN has previously reported that at least 7,000
ethnic Tamil civilians were killed in the last four months of
fighting before government troops finally defeated the Tigers
Sri Lanka says that no civilians were killed while
battling the rebels and that it would not allow the UN or any
other independent body to probe war crimes allegations.