Sri Lanka to probe alleged war crimes by security forces

Sept 01, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government may indict some army personnel in coming months for alleged human right violations during the war that ended the three-decades long terrorism in the country.

An Indian media report said that the Sri Lankan government has indirectly admitted that some of its army personnel may have committed human rights violations in the final phase of the war.

India’s NDTV reported that according to Sri Lankan parliamentarian Rajiva Wijesinha the who an adviser to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on national reconciliation some army personnel have been found guilty of killing civilians during the final phase of the war against the LTTE, and action will be accordingly taken against them.

He has said that the government has set up the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to probe these incidents and recommend the government on the measures to be taken.

Wijesinha has revealed that the LLRC has already made some reports calling for potential indictment of some army personnel.

The LLRC is to present its final report to the President in November this year.

Although the LLRC has recommended taking action against the culpable, the MP has assured that it will not be a witch-hunt.

“We are not going to run around asking everyone did you indulge in war crimes. If we have prima facie evidence that would be investigated,” he has told NDTV.

Wijesinha has also noted that there should be an investigation on the “white flag” story. He has expressed hope that the LLRC would recommend an investigation into the incident.

The “white flag” case involves an alleged comment made to a weekly national newspaper by former army commander Sarath Fonseka that the Defence Secretary had ordered the shooting of LTTE leaders who were trying to surrender during the final stages of the war in 2009.

Wijesinha has revealed that the LLRC has indicted someone in the Eastern Province. But the trial will not be made public, he has added.

The United Nations Panel of Experts appointed by the Secretary-General ban Ki-moon found credible evidence of serious violations of international humanitarian law committed both by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE and recommended an international mechanism to investigate the alleged war crimes.

The Sri Lankan government rejected the report saying that it is fundamentally flawed in many respects and based on patently biased material presented without verification.

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