Top panel to review Lanka ethnic conflict, probe rights abuses

Last Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 18:36

Colombo: The government will soon set up a
top reconciliation panel to review the bloody three decades
ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, including alleged rights abuses
and provide compensation to the affected civilians during the
civil war that came to an end last May.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will soon appoint a seven
member "Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation" Commission,
including seven eminent local Sri Lankans and from abroad, to
learn the lessons and to ensure that there will be no
recurrence of the tragic conflict in future.

"In assessing the `Lessons Learnt` from the recent
conflict phase there will be the search for any violations of
internationally accepted norms of conduct in such conflict
situations, and the circumstances that may have led to such
actions, and identify any persons or groups responsible for
such acts," a presidential media unit release said here today.

With regard to the difficulties and trouble undergone
by people, it would look into the possibility of providing
compensation for the affected. "It is also expected that
recommendations would be sought on the nature of compensation
to be granted to the victims or their dependents who have
suffered in this conflict situation, it said.

"The Commission and its terms of reference are to be
announced in the next few days. The legislative and
administrative measures that may be necessary to prevent such
a situations in future, and to promote national unity and
reconciliation among all communities will also be part of the
mandate given by the President.

The Commission will also study the hardships that Sri
Lanka had to undergo due to the "terrorist inspired"
manoeuvred and created conflict situation in recent years.v

"The President is of the view that the situation
today provides an opportune moment to reflect on the recent
conflict phase and the sufferings the country has gone
through," the release said.

This, it said, is in keeping with the "common
aspirations of all people to have an assured era of peace,
harmony and prosperity".

Its findings will seek to take the nation towards the
common goals of a multi-ethnic polity, in a spirit of
cooperation, partnership and friendship, it said.

It will also study the institutional, administrative
and welfare measures already taken in the post-conflict phase,
and those to be further taken in order to effect
reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation.

At least 80,000 people were killed during ethnic
conflict that ended a year ago with the defeat of the Tamil
Tigers who were fighting for an independent homeland.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 18:36

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