UN chief welcomes public release of Sri Lanka Reconciliation Commission’s report

Dec 17, New York: The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the public release of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report.

Mr. Ban, according to his spokesperson, has expressed hope that the Sri Lankan Government will move forward on its commitments to deal with accountability issues arose following the end of its war against Tamil Tiger terrorists.

Sri Lanka on Friday tabled the entire 400-page report of the LLRC in the parliament.

The spokesperson has said that the UN Chief hopes the Sri Lankan government will move forward with its accountability commitments in good faith as an essential step towards reconciliation and lasting peace in the country.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed the LLRC to probe the events during the last seven years of the armed conflict that ended the three decades long terrorism in the country in May 2009.

Western governments and human rights organizations sympathetic to the LTTE, the terrorist organization that continued the armed struggle for a separate homeland for 30 years, accused the Sri Lankan government security forces of committing war crimes and killing thousands of Tamil civilians during the last phase of the war.

The LLRC however, concluded that the security forces have not willfully killed civilians although casualties have occurred during crossfire. However, the Commission has noted that there were some transgressions on an individual basis and recommended conducting investigations.

The UN Secretary-General appointed his own three-member Panel of Experts to investigate the issue of accountability during the last stage of Sri Lanka’s war and the panel concluded that there was credible evidence of war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan troops. It recommended that the Sri Lankan government respond to the allegations by initiating an effective accountability process starting with genuine investigations.

Sri Lanka has rejected the UN report saying that it is fundamentally flawed and based on patently biased material which is presented without any verification.

The Panel of Experts criticizing LLRC, as deeply flawed and does not meet international standards, recommended the UN chief to immediately establish an independent international mechanism to investigate the alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan security forces.

In September this year angering Sri Lanka, UN chief forwarded the panel’s report to the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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