Sri Lanka insists accountability report addressed final war

The Sri Lankan government insisted that an accountability report on the war between the Sri Lankan military and the LTTE did address the final stages of the conflict.

International human rights groups had alleged that the report by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) had failed to look at some of the human rights violation alleged to have taken place just before the rebels were defeated in 2009.

However the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry quoted Ravinatha Aryasinha, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU as saying that the report offers detailed observations and recommendations on International Humanitarian Law issues relating to the final phase of the conflict.

“The suggestion made in some quarters, that the LLRC Report does not address accountability issues in the last phase of the conflict is without basis.  What those who make this charge  seem to expose, is simply that the authors of the LLRC Report have not come to the conclusions those elements who obsessively wish to see Sri Lanka being put in the dock, had wanted,” he said.

The commission was appointed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa following attempts by some countries to push for an international war crimes probe on Sri Lanka.

Following several months of public sittings and deliberations the LLRC submitted its final report late last year to the Sri Lankan President and the report was subsequently made public.

Aryasinha said that the LLRC carried out its duties against the backdrop of much skepticism, with the eminence and independence of its members questioned in some quarters.

He said the LLRC report notes that military operations were conducted professionally, but if there is evidence of transgression by individuals, this should be examined.

“ On the basis of evidence placed before them, the Commission also points to several specific episodes which, in their view, warrant further investigation.  These episodes are referred to in the Report, in a variety of settings,” he said.

Aryasinha says one month since the report was made public, the Government of Sri Lanka is working on its operationalizational aspects in earnest.