Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission

Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was appointed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in May 2010 to look back at the Sri Lankan Civil War and to provide recommendations for an era of healing and peace building. The commission made its enquiries for one and half year and submitted its report in the November 2011. The conclusion of the commission was that Sri Lankan military didn’t deliberately target civilians but the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam repeatedly violated international humanitarian law. According to the commission the military gave the "highest priority" to protecting civilians whereas the Tamil Tigers had had "no respect for human life". The commission admitted that civilians had been killed by the Sri Lankan military, albeit accidentally, contradicting the government’s line that there were zero civilian casualties. The commission did however receive some eyewitness evidence alleging abuse by the military which warranted further investigation and, if necessary, the prosecution of perpetrators. The commission acknowledged that hospitals had been shelled, resulting "considerable civilian casualties", but it did not say who was responsible for the shelling. The commission blamed Sinhalese and Tamil politicians for causing the civil war: the Sinhalese politicians failed to offer a solution acceptable to the Tamil people and the Tamil politicians fanned militant separatism.

  • The above conclusions of the commission were heavily criticized by the Human Rights groups and UN experts and it was said that it had a limited mandate. It was alleged that the Government of Sri Lanka used this LLRC as a tool to prevent international probe.
  • The chairman was C. R. De Silva, PC , who had been Attorney General of Sri Lanka between 2007 and 2009.

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