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LLRC suggests solutions for amity

LLRC suggests solutions for amity

2011 Jan 30

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’s (LLRC) final report to the president will focus on land issues, releasing the names of all detainees in camps, language rights and restitution. LLRC sources said. However the defense establishment is not ready to meet several demands of the LLRC, including the release of a list of detainee names.
LLRC: oral submissions over
Since its inception in May 2010 the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) it held numerous sessions at Kadiragamar Centre, Colombo and outstations including Mulativu, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Trincomalee and Mannar where it met thousands of Tamil civilians affected by war.

13-1Speaking to media LLRC Chairman C.R de Silva has told that they will end accepting individual submissions at the end of this month. He added that apart from a field visit to Ampara in February and tentative plans to take individual submissions if necessary, the LLRC is set to commence its preparation of the final report to the president.

Speaking to LAKBIMAnEWS LLRC Coordinator, Lakshman Wickremasinghe said that the Commissioners have announced many times that the final report to the president will mainly focus on land issues, releasing the names of all detainees in camps, language rights and restitution.

“During Colombo sessions a large number of political/religious/community and NGO leaders appeared before the Commission. Most of them had excellent ideas of reconciliation and human rights and their proposals and theories greatly helped the LLRC to formulate an idea,” he said.
Addressing immediate issues

However it was during the outstation sessions at the North and the East that the Commissioners understood the immediate needs of the people and the report will focus strongly on addressing these immediate issues.
Although issues like devolution took centre stage in Colombo thousands of individuals who gave evidence at outstation sessions were complaining about immediate issues like financial assistance, abductions, and detention and land issues.

“The commissioners realized that the biggest concern of the people is to determine the fate of their loved ones who are detained. Also there have been many instances where their property has been encroached on by others, including the security forces without paying compensation. Those have been identified as the most immediate issues and recommendations will be made to address them at once,” told a LLRC official.

Discussion with Gotabhaya, Jayasundara and Peiris
The Commissioners met the Defense Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Treasury, P.B. Jayasundara and Attorney General, Mohan Peiris to discuss their recommendations and how to implement them. While the top officials have agreed with most of the committee’s current recommendations, there are a few points where a consensus has not been reached.

“Even last week the Commissioners met Jayasundara and Peiris to discuss about financial allocations that is necessary to implement the recommendations. The Commissioners pressed the officials to assure them that the necessary funding will be allocated for restitution,” he said.
Gotabhaya says no
However the security establishment is not keen about the recommendations made about detainees and the High Security Zones (HSZs) the LLRC official said. 
The Defense Secretary was not willing to accommodate the request to release a list of names of detainees during a meeting late last year. However continuous efforts are being made to overcome this obstacle.

“The Commissioners have promised the people in the North and the East that they will ask the government to release a list of detainees after thousands complained that they want to know what has happened to their sons and daughters.  
This in a way is a matter of pride for the Commissioners too, if they fail to implement these most basic of demands it will be a huge loss of face.”


LLRC highlights


August 11
Head of the government’s then peace secretariat, Bernard Gunathilaka
Gunathilaka outlined his role in the Norway-brokered 2002 CFA and added that devolution of power alone will not provide an answer to the aftermath of the 30 year old armed conflict at the first public hearing of the LLRC. He added that it was vital to address the reasons that led to the armed conflict and involve the minorities in the core of political movements to provide a stable solution
August 17
Defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
Rajapaksa stated that the Sri Lanka army did all it could to avoid civilian casualties during the war with Tamil rebels and highlighted that the government fought with a zero civilian casualty policy and that most of those killed were possible LTTE combatants as the number of LTTE cadres killed was never revealed in correct statistics.
He also added that nobody talks on how one can identify civilian casualties from combatants and that the LTTE would change clothes and pretend to be civilians when injured.
October 1
Counter Terrorism expert Prof. Rohan Gunarathne
North Korean Government aided the LTTE in procuring weapons since 1997 until the end of the conflict and added that the Sri Lankan government should now take steps to issue a white paper to counter the accusations of alleged war crimes during the final stages of the war.
November 3
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith
Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency Regulations in the country must be removed with immediate effect stating that they only lead to arbitrary arrests and the unnecessary detention of persons and a solution should take into account national security concerns while also building trust between communities.
November 14
Centre for Human Rights (CHR) claimed that Yaal Thinakural journalist, P. Winslow was abducted by an unidentified group during the session at St. Anne’s Church, Kayts.

December 13
Deputy Minister of Rehabilitation Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan
(Karuna Amman)
The LTTE used the 2002 CFA to procure weapons and used the Norwegians desire to be known as the party that brokered peace between the LTTE and the government to collect large sums of money.
January 7-8-
LLRC Mannar Sessions
Military personnel visited the Manthai West AGA’s Office and Periyapandivirichchan AGA’s office on the day of the sessions, and questioned the LLRC’s staff; about their visit and the same personnel photographed the Commissioners and those who had arrived to give evidence.

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