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Final report of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) tabled in Parliament

News release by Policy Research & Information Unit of the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka

The final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was tabled today, December 16th in Parliament by Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva .

“In evaluating the Sri Lanka experience in the context of allegations of violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the Commission is satisfied that the military strategy that was adopted to secure the LTTE held areas was one that was carefully conceived, in which the protection of the civilian population was given the highest priority. The Commission also notes in this regard that the movement of the Security Forces in conducting their operations was deliberately slow during the final stages of the conflict, thereby evidencing a carefully worked out strategy of avoiding civilian casualties or minimizing them,” the report stated in its Principal Observations and Recommendations.
FINAL LLRC REPORT:

Among the conclusions of the Commission is that “On consideration of all facts and circumstances before it, the Commission concludes that the Security Forces had not deliberately targeted the civilians in the NFZs, although civilian casualties had in fact occurred in the cause of crossfire. Further, the LTTE targeting and killing of civilians who attempted to flee the conflict into safe areas, the threat posed by landmines and resultant death and injuries to civilians, and the perils inherent in crossing the Nanthi Kadal Lagoon, had all collectively contributed to civilian casualties. It would also be reasonable to conclude that there appears to have been a bona fide expectation that and attack on LTTE gun positions would make a relevant and proportional contribution to the objective of the military attack involved.”

“Having reached the above conclusions, it is also incumbent on the Commission to consider the question, while there was no deliberate targeting of civilians by the Security Forces, whether the action of the Security Forces of returning fire into the NFZs was excessive in the context of the Principal of Proportionality. Given the complexity of the situation that presented itself as described above, the Commission after most careful consideration of all aspects, is of the view that the Security Forces were confronted with an unprecedented situation when no other choice was possible and all “feasible precautions” that were practicable in the circumstances had been taken,” it further said.

The report also states the process of reconciliation requires a full acknowledgement of the tragedy of the conflict and a collective act of contrition by the political leaders and civil society, of both Sinhala and Tamil communities. The conflict could have been avoided had the southern political leaders of the two main political parties acted in the national interest and forged a consensus between them to offer an acceptable solution to the Tamil people. The Tamil political leaders were equally responsible for this conflict which could have been avoided had the Tamil leaders refrain from promoting an armed campaign towards secession, acquiescing in the violence and terrorist methods used by the LTTE against both the Sinhala and Tamil people, and failing to come out strongly and fearlessly against the LLTE, and their atrocities practices.

In May 2010, President Rajapaksa appointed the eight-member Commission to report on the lessons to be learnt from the events in the period, Feb 2002 to May 2009, their attendant concerns and to recommend measures to ensure that there will be no recurrence of such a situation.

The LLRC held its first sittings on August 11, 2010. In November 2010, the President extended its mandate till May 15, 2011.

The Commission had regular public hearings in Colombo and in the former conflict affected areas of Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Kilinochchi. This included field visits to meet people directly affected by the conflict. It has received over 1,000 oral submissions and over 5,000 written submissions.

The government appointed an Inter-Agency Advisory Committee (IIAC) headed by the Attorney General of Sri Lanka to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations made by the LLRC during its inquiry.

The LLRC had made recommendations on action to be taken with regard to detention of suspects, land issues, law and order, administrative and language issues and socio-economic and livelihood issues.

Following recommendations by the Commission a special committee was appointed in January 2011, to study the cases of detained LTTE suspects and expedite legal action where necessary.

Implementing reconciliation measures suggested by the IIAC the government is gradually releasing lands occupied by the military as High Security Zones (HSZs) in the country, especially in the North.

The Sri Lanka Army officially handed over Subash Hotel on Victoria Road in Jaffna town in which the 52 Division Headquarters was established since December 1995, to its owner in March this year.

256 houses surrounding the Palaly HSZ have already been returned to civilians and another 2392 houses have been identified for civilian occupation in more than 2500 hectares of the land that was set apart for HSZs.

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission comprised Mr. Chitta Ranjan de Silva PC (Chair), Mr. Chandirapal Chanmugam , Prof. Karunaratne Hangawatte, M. T. M. Bafiq, Mr. Maxwell Paranagama, Mr. HMGS Palihakkara, Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera PC and Mrs Mano Ramanathan.

PDF-Click here for full report of LLRC

37 Comments

  1. R Jayadevan says:

    Well! The outcome is forgone conclusion.

    There are issues that are useful and how they will be dealt with is everyone’s guess. Some lollies in the report are there to undermine the core issues.

    LLRC failed to own the LTTE is the baby of failures of Sri Lanka and had conveniently gone on the one-sided onslaught due to the constraints faced by the whole process of the LLRC.

  2. aratai says:

    .
    “A committee is composed of people who individually can do nothing, who come together to conclude that nothing can be done.”

    :-)

  3. Udurawana says:

    The Rajapaksa goons will have to find hiding places in double quick time now as the international organisations seeking justice will come down now like a sledge hammer.Interesting days ahead!

  4. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    A question for the LLRC.

    If the “the military strategy that was adopted to secure the LTTE held areas was one that was carefully conceived, in which the protection of the civilian population was given the highest priority.” why was gothabaya trying to justify it by praising the Russian anti terrorist operation that killed most of the civilians to get a few terrorists????????

    http://www.economist.com/node/13446894

    “Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the defence secretary and one of three presidential brothers in the government, recently told foreign diplomats how much he admired Russia’s efforts in 2004 in the North Ossetian town of Beslan—where more than 300 hostages held in a school were killed in the rescue effort. Only Russia’s ambassador, whose country has, with China, blocked serious discussion of the war in the UN Security Council, nodded his approval.”

    Is the LLRC saying that burning the house to get the rats is a “carefully conceived” operation??????????

  5. John wayne says:

    The day that the LRRC report was released Rajapakse Bros Co. hosted Formular I car racing and electric peacock music at Galle Face in Colombo in a remarkably callous display of the regard that it had for the LRRC and the suffering of the minority communities. Prior to that Mahinda Rajapakse released a photograph of him reading the LRRC report relining in an arm chair. This shows the level to which the regime will sink when matters of singular gravity need to be addressed. These fellows deserve a war crimes trial and nothing less. The Sri Lanka army was professional until the last year when under Gotabaya rajapakse it committed grave violations of a systematic nature and it was under the Rajapakse’s command that the army committed atrocities on a large scale. They have command responsibility.

  6. Ranjan, Toronto says:

    Is this any different to US & UK killing a million Iraqis to get Sadam? Destroying Afghanistan to get OBL? Or Israel firing artillery and tank fire at civilian structures to get at a few terrorists firing rockets? Where is the international moral outrage in those instances?

    “Burning the house to get rats” is what every country have done in a war situation, whether Allies bombing Germany to dark ages to get the Nazis and teach civilians a lesson or US destroying Japanese cities with nuclear weapons, cities with 90% civilian populations. That is the sad truth of our civilization.

    In Beslan more than 300 – most of them children were killed. The operation was primarily not to rescue the hostages but to send a warning to the terrorists that the government will not negotiate at any cost. For the individual families an unspeakable tragedy, but for a government trying to keep law and order, there was no other option but to send a message loud and clear. If Russia had acted any other way, there would have been many more Beslans.

  7. Daniel says:

    Dear Mr.Jayadevan,
    Will you please convey your views to your brother ‘Dr’Narendran on these pages?

  8. Native Vedda says:

    aratai

    The commission didn’t even had the mandate in the first place to investigate war crimes and crime against humanity.

    Therefore the purpose of LLRC was dead before it was launched.

    The appeasers in peacenik clothes on both side of the divide now have to swollow what they have been commenting on these sites.

    Intention was to sweap all war crime allegations under the carpet heavily laced with denial and lies.

    Now people have the opportunity to make their own judgement.

    The problem is how do they express their views, without being white vanned.

  9. Native Vedda says:

    Dushy Ranetunge says:

    “Is the LLRC saying that burning the house to get the rats is a “carefully conceived” operation??????????”

    No it is other way round. The rats were burning the house to get the people.

  10. M.Selvanayagam says:

    John Wayne, not only that he and his family are celebrating Namal’s Oath taking cermony as a lawer on the Tax payers expences.

  11. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    read again what you have written……perhaps you might realise your folly….

  12. Kalu Abert says:

    Would Mr Dushy Ranatunga, with his expertise in Military and Political arenas, be kind enough to divulge what the alternative strategy that he would have adopted, to rescue the 300,000 civilian captives, while getting rid of their captors, without any injury or damage either party?.

    Although it may be a bit too late for the LTTE Leadership , it may come handy in case, another Terrorist Campaign is thrust upon the Srilankan inhabitants by the anti Srilankan elements and their allies in the West.

  13. Ranjan, Toronto says:

    Educate me of my folly Dushy…

    It is always good to get knowledge and wisdom from a superior mind.

  14. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    You are fooling yourself Kalu.

    If the civilians were captives and were rescued by the state, they must be eternally greatful. So why not have a referandumn and ask them if they want a separate state? Then we can test your fairy tale that they were truly captives and were truly liberated?

    If your mother, sister, father, children were in the Vanni, would you have carried out the “liberation operation” in that manner?

    Terrorists are created by the State.

    1948 Independance.

    approx 20 years later

    1971 defeated JVP terrorism with bloodbath

    approx 20 years later

    1989 defeated terrorism with bloodbath

    approx 20 years later

    2009 defeated terrorism with bloodbath

    the same mistakes are being committed again and again by the modayas who worship tooth. They are simply incapable of diffusing civilian disputes politically.

    The seeds of the next cycle is already in place and within 5 years you will see civil unrest again.

  15. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    if you cannot understand the folly of what you have written, you are beyond redemption.

    Take your first para…..

    Does the criminal acts of others justify your crimes?

    If you were charged with murder, could you defend yourself by pointing to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and the next door murderer?

    Why don’t you try it and see what happens.

    Also my dear, if you are charged with murder, and you try to defend yourself by pointing to other murderers, are you not admitting your OWN GUILT?

    read again what you have written and try to understand your folly…..

  16. R Jayadevan says:

    Dushi

    You rightly said.

    There is ample evidence that the end war was a nasty one, leave aside other nasty operations of the government forces and the LTTE in the 30 years of war. If one attribute it to the government claim of ‘liberation of the people from the clutches of the LTTE’ it will be the biggest deception perpetrated. Even Goebles from his burial ground will sit up with aghast.

    The government having blocked the media and the NGO’s including the UN to be in the Vanni allowed the forces to bulldoze their way through. Every moving objects were fired at backed by heavy artillery. This is what the government is trying to hide.

    The LLRC report claims about 25,000 LTTE terrorist slain and says government can name only of about 12,000. Pre-war analysis by respectable war analysts credibly claimed LTTE’s man power was about 12,000-15,000. Where the hell the balance come from. The government claim of LTTE men taken into custody is about 12,000. How on earth LTTE have 37,000 military men and women. This number excludes disappeared cadres under military custody.

    I had a rare opportunity to hear what LTTE’s Nadesan said few minutes before his death: ‘This is a jungle of corpses. Even dyeing bodies are crying. We cannot continue to fight and we want to surrender’.

    If crime of such magnitude is allowed to be buried without due process of justice as you have rightly said will have catastrophic consequence for Sri Lanka in the future. Pain of losing the husband, child, sibling, mother, father and friends are not easy one to erase from the memory. My family members are still struggling to come to terms with the deaths of our mother and brother in the IPKF rampage even after 24 years. Even India has still not come to terms with the death of Rajiv Gandhi even after the death of much wanted Praba and Pottu.

    We must admire the courage of the war victims pull their way through under extremely difficult circumstances. Some of their tales only invited irking comments from the LLRC to absolve the military from war crimes charges. This is what is called the conditioned home grown solution is.

  17. M Selvanayagam says:

    Ranjan, have you been Enlightened by the superior mind beyound any doubt.Now Why don’t you come out of your closet permanantly? It will do good for you and your country.Other wise you will be condmed to modaya paradise!!!

  18. Ranjan, Toronto says:

    Dushy,
    You are mixing things.

    Did civilians get killed? yes. My point was that if Sri Lankan government is guilty, so is most governments that have waged and are currently fighting wars. That would include US, UK, Russia….the list is endless.

    The question is did the government deliberately and with intention fired on the Tamil civilians to kill them and annihilate them? You can say anything you want, I believe that the answer is no.

    If once they cornered the LTTE in Mulative, if they had stopped for any reason and LTTE leadership had somehow dispersed either in to the Vanni jungles or got air lifted to another country, this war would have gone for another thirty years.

    The same question could be asked from the Allies in WWII. By the end of 1944 both Germany and Japan had been cornered and surrounded. They were militarily and economically crippled. So why did not the Allies stop the war and wait for the Germans and the Japanese to surrender? Why kill millions of civilians in trying to get at a leadership that was for all intentions and purposes finished? So in your mind are Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin guilty of war crimes?

    If an armed group is waging war against a country, however right or wrong that cause may be, that country has the right to defend itself.

  19. aratai says:

    .
    In 2008 December, Sarath Fonseka claimed that only 2,000 – 3,000 Tigers left to kill.

    :-)

  20. Mgr says:

    Ranjan says

    “The question is did the government deliberately and with intention fired on the Tamil civilians to kill them and annihilate them? You can say anything you want, I believe that the answer is no.”

    Ranjan your above “no” Is countary to the evidence we
    have and If you believe in truth go and find out don’t live a life in lies and decets.asthis LLRC Failed to look for the truth I feel The UN,IC will have to put pressure to make Srilanka to find the truth.

  21. Ranjan, Toronto says:

    If GOSL and the armed forces had a policy of deliberately killing civilians, there would not have been a Menik Farm with 300000 IDPs. Most of them would be dead. As everyone likes to point out, here were no “Independent” media around. so why not kill all civilians and claim that they were either killed by the LTTE or died in the cross fire?

  22. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Ayyo Ranjan,

    I give up. You are beyond redemption.

    You cannot compare WW! or WW2 with 2009, because the world has changed and new laws on war crimes are in place.

    In WW1 and WW2 there was no UN or war crimes tribunal or legal definitions of war crimes.

    Your justifications are all wrong and will not be accepted by even our own lowest courts in the land.

  23. Kalu Albert says:

    What would be the answer if your Western buddies ask the same question from their minorities, especially the poor Pakis and West Indians in your neck of the woods???

    If the Toffee Nosed Sinhalese sneaked in after the LTTE was eliminated, your prediction may have had a chance.

    Now, there is Bucklys.

    Even the Lessons Learned Commission of the Norwegians accept that the Colombo Elite have gone past their use by date.

    MS Thisaranee, the relentless crusader even admits that the majority of Sinhala people believe that Raja brothers will deliver the goods, the same efficient manner that they eliminated the LTTE.

    Standard Chartered says Srilanka is heading for a another bumper year, in matters that your Western mates can’t even get a handle on.

    No bad for Tooth Worshiping Modayas.

    In 5 years time you may want to resettle with a maid for cooking and cleaning rather than than dropping in every now then.

    But of course you will have to pay a fair wage unlike in your good old days for the standard of living of the Modayas will be lot higher then..

  24. Ranjan, Toronto says:

    Dushy,

    Why would I need redemption?

    OK, lets not compare WWII with 2009 if that if what you want. Let’s compare Iraq between 2003 and 2006 and places like Afganistan and Pakistan at present. Are you telling me that civilians were not killed in these places or that they are not being targeted even today? Why is it OK for countries like US and UK to destroy and bomb countries with impunity and justify those actions with lies? Why are the leaders responsible not charged with war crimes? If they are judged to be not guilty, how can one can accuse GOSL which basically did the same thing guilty? Why is it that when the West does it, it is called collateral damage and a crime when SL does it?

    You say that in WW1 or WW2 there were no UN or war crimes tribunals or legal definition of war crimes. Then how did thousands of Germans and Japanese were charged and fund guilty after WW2 for war crimes? Under what laws?

    You say the world has changed after WW2 and now there are new laws on war crimes. Care to educate me and point out what new laws on war crimes have been instituted in recent times and show me when these were put in place? They we can see if what you say is true or not.

  25. Kapila Kahapola, SriLankan in UAE says:

    Kalu,
    Aspirations of Ealamists Seam to be No Different from that of Our Aspiring Diplomat !!!

    Now I Must Admit Here SL Gov In Fact did a Diplomatic Blunder by Not Appointing Our Aspiring Diplomat to that Cold European Country !!!

    Had SL Gov Done that, He will Certainly Over Come All these Issues by Wining the Hearts of the West & We will Perhaps Not See His Sinhala + Buddhist Bashing Comments in these Columns !!! Problems Solved !!!

  26. Kapila Kahapola, SriLankan in UAE says:

    Ayyo Dushie Akke Oyage Maara Mole !!! (Apple Gediyak Tharamwath Oya Usa Nethi Unath !!!)

  27. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Ayyo Ranjan, I told you that you are beyond redemption and now asks me to educate you about new laws…..here I will cut and paste…….

    “The International Criminal Court (French: Cour pénale internationale; commonly referred to as the ICC or ICCt)[1] is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression (although it cannot currently and will in no way before 2017[2] be able to exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression).[3][4]

    It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, entered into force[5]—and it can only prosecute crimes committed on or after that date.[6] The Court’s official seat is in The Hague, Netherlands, but its proceedings may take place anywhere.[7]”

    yes Ranjan, It came into being in 2002, long after WW! and WW2.

    So, Please , Please read a bit more, before making a fool of yourself.

    You can also answer the Afghanistan and Pakistan question yourself, if you understand the legal definition of a war crime……..

    I will refrain from responding to the other idiot below from the UAE……

  28. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Here is a bit more cut and paste education for you….long after WW2…..

    However, the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions adopted in 1977 containing the most pertinent, detailed and virulent protections of [[international humanitarian law for persons and objects in modern warfare are still not ratified by a number of States continuously engaged in armed conflicts, namely the United States, Israel, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, and others. Accordingly, states retain different codes and values with regard to wartime conduct. Some signatories have routinely violated the Geneva Conventions in a way which either uses the ambiguities of law or political maneuvering to sidestep the laws’ formalities and principles.

  29. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Now, a small comment.

    The Rajapakse’s will within our lifetime face prosecution for war crimes as the level of evidence available is higher than that available against Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia. This is not my opinion (on the level of evidence), but the opinion of legal experts who specialise in war crimes trials in the Hague.

  30. Hikz says:

    You might want to go and hit up the old Wikipedia again champ. A few suggested articles: War crimes, Hague conventions and Nuremberg trials. Then come back and tell us more about how “in WW1 and WW2 there was no war crimes tribunal or legal definitions of war crimes”.

  31. Ranjan, Toronto says:

    Dushy,

    So under what laws were the Germans and Japanese from WWII charged and persecuted if there were no laws against the crimes that they committed?

  32. shivali says:

    by the adamant attitude of the sri lankan government in discriminating and causing minorities,what remains is a condition by which the communist allies proves that the democracy is the cause for all the calamities,attrocities,disputes unsettled conditions and war between the state and its own citizen.

  33. shivali says:

    there are some examples in Dusy’s letter.I do not think that any dictator in the world has so far waged a large scale war against its own citizen.No such warriors killed mercilessly who came to surrender the. When the paddy is sorrounded by dangerous pests what we do is kill the pests without causing damage to the paddy.Likewise if anyone to eradicate terrorism it is not correct to kill all the people because it is difficult to seperate them from the terrorsts.it was possible to do so for the government because the said people are ethnically not belonging to them and such unfortunate community was far away from them.

    The reason for the illegal anihilation is not acceptable.The only reason is that the government was driven to the corner to do so and if it had not chosen that way in that manner they are nowhare.Another way someone says that this anihilation of the minority is for the existence of the majority.

  34. shivali says:

    in those countries the citizen were also killed but here a minority community was deliberately targetted that is what some people suggest.i am asking a question is there no any other way to solve this problem without killing our own people.this is a very small country where it is not possible to make division.this is a small country too to use the world dangerous weapons like artileries multy burrel guns etc.during the first insurgency only shot guns or few other guns were used lest they may cause injuries to majority community.

  35. [...] the Sri Lankan government’s own report from its Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission, published last December, includes important findings on reconciliation, and represents a [...]

  36. [...] saw many of their fellow civilians killed and injured. While the Sri Lankan government’s own report from its Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission, published last December, includes important findings on reconciliation, and represents a [...]

  37. MRM says:

    Dear People , Can we nmove forward? Accepting that mistakes were made going back over the ages, How do we solve our problems and get this country united? “United we stand divided we fall. What are your suggestions?

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