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* Sri Lanka President appoints committee to probe war time right abuses
Thu, May 6, 2010, 07:12 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa will appoint a committee to probe any right abuses committed during the decade-long war with the Tamil Tigers and to compensate the victims and their families who suffered during the conflict that killed nearly 100,00 people.

The President will shortly appoint a commission to report on the 'Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation' with regard to the difficulties and troubled times that Sri Lanka had to undergo due to the terrorist inspired, maneuvered and created conflict situation in recent years, the government media unit announced today.

Western governments and right groups have accused Sri Lanka military of war crimes during the final phase of its bloody offensive with the LTTE last year. The military crushed the rebel outfit and all of its senior leaders last May and restored peace in the country.

The President who was re-elected for a second term in January believes that a year later with the political stability and return of normalcy in the country, an opportunity has risen to evaluate the conflict and the sufferings the country has gone through to learn the lessons and work towards reconciliation.

The Commission in assessing the 'Lessons Learnt' from the recent conflict phase will 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, the government announced.

The government says the findings will help to ensure that there will be no recurrence of such tragic conflict in the future.

The Commission comprising seven eminent Sri Lankans from here and abroad will evaluate the nature of compensation to be granted to the victims of the conflict or their dependents.

It will also make recommendations for the reconciliation process among the communities, reconstruction, and rehabilitation and recommend the legislative and administrative measures that may be necessary in order to prevent such situations in the future.

The Terms of Reference for the Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation are to be Gazetted in the next few days.

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