Sri Lanka sets roadmap to investigate war crimes

The plan sets timetables for investigating the charges and punishing those found guilty.

Written by Agencies | Colombo | Published: July 27, 2012 11:07:35 am

Under intense international pressure,Sri Lanka Friday unveiled a road map fixing time frames for investigating alleged human rights violations and killings of Tamil civilians by its army during the final stages of the war with the LTTE in 2009.

The cabinet has approved the action plan for the implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation

Commission (LLRC),the government spokesman and minister of information Keheliya Rambukawella said.

The plan sets timetables for investigating the charges and

punishing those found guilty of excesses.

The road map published Friday has committed the completion of ongoing “disciplinary” investigations by the security forces within 12 months and ensure that any resulting criminal charges are filed in court within another four years.

The decision comes close on the heels of the EU and US

pressure on Colombo to implement recommendations of the

national commission that studied the last stages of the Tamil

conflict.

The action plan also assumes much significance in the light of the UN human rights council resolution adopted late March against Sri Lanka.

The US-sponsored and India-backed resolution urged the

Colombo government to expeditiously implement the LLRC

recommendations in order to achieve reconciliation with the

island’s Tamil minority.

“The government has dispelled all doubts about its sincerity in trying to implement the recommendations”,Rambukwella told reporters. The paper presented in the cabinet by president Mahinda

Rajapaksa had said that 285 recommendations in the report were classified into four main groups; relating to national policy,pertaining to the final phase of the conflict,human rights and national security concerns and resettlement and

development.

The action plan sets out some of the LLRC recommendations

as ongoing in the process of implementation.

The time scales for implementation vary between 6 to 18

months while some of the other recommendations are shown as those requiring longer; between 1 to 3 years for

implementation.

Payment of compensation to the lands currently being used by the state in the national security perspective and land alienation in the former conflict zones are the recommendations that fall into the three-year time frame for implementation.

The LLRC was appointed by Rajapaksa in May 2010 to look

back at the separatist conflict launched by the LTTE and fought over three decades.

It was mandated to recommend ways to prevent a repetition of such a conflict.

Sri Lanka faced criticism in the international fora for apparent dragging of feet in implementing the recommendations of its own reconciliation commission.

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