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* Sri Lanka Army probes the allegations in LLRC report
Wed, Feb 15, 2012, 08:21 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka Army has appointed a Court of Inquiry (COI) to probe the allegations of civilian casualties noted in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report and in the Britain's Channel-4 video footage regardless of its authenticity.

The Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya last month has appointed the five-member Court of Inquiry chaired by Major General Chrishantha De Silva, the present Commander of the Security Forces Headquarters, Kilinochchi.

The Court of Inquiry appointed to inquire into the observations, made by the LLRC in its report on alleged civilian casualties during the final phase of the humanitarian operations and probe as regards Channel-4 video footage irrespective of its authenticity or otherwise, is now in full progress, the Army says.

The Army Commander has said that according to the Army's Zero Tolerance policy an inquiry is warranted if there was any breach of Humanitarian Laws by its members, especially in view of the LLRC observations.

A Court of Inquiry is an initial fact-finding inquiry, similar to a non-summary inquiry by a Magistrate and if there is a prima facie evidence against any person, a general Court Martial will be convened to try the alleged offenders.

A general Court Martial has the jurisdiction that is identical to a High Court Trial-at-Bar and can award any sentence, including the death penalty.

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