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Top panel to review Lanka ethnic conflict, probe rights abuses

[PTI, Thursday, 6 May 2010 15:13 No Comment]

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.

[Full Coverage]

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