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Sri Lanka war commission report to be made public

November 01, 2011 18:00 IST

Amid speculation that the crucial Sri Lankan probe into the three-decade ethnic conflict may be kept under wraps, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to make the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission findings public.

Foreign Minister GL Peiris on Tuesday said that the President has decided to make the report of the LLRC available on public domain.

"President Rajapaksa was categorical in saying that the report would be made public. This will be done after the report is submitted to the president," Peiris told reporters.

LLRC spokesman Lakshman Wickremasinghe said the report could be presented to Rajapaksa before the November 15 deadline.

"We are making arrangements for it to be presented to the President. Although we have no definite date it is likely to be presented in the second week of November," Wickremasinghe said.

The LLRC, however, had no authority to make the report public.

"Our mandate limits us to handing it over to the President. Making it public or otherwise will be entirely in President's hands," Wickremasinghe added.

The LLRC was appointed by Rajapaksa in May 2010 to look back at the country's separatist conflict with the LTTE covering the period of the Norwegian brokered peace process which began in February 2002 and the end to the military offensive in May 2009.

The objective was to learn lessons and prevent a repetition of a similar conflict.

The LLRC spokesman earlier said that over 1,000 oral submissions and over 5000 written submissions had been received by the commission.

"People of varying status have recorded their submissions with us and we have given more chances to people from the north and east," Wickremasinghe said.

An expert panel report of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon issued last April has accused Sri Lanka and the LTTE of committing war crimes and called for an investigation.

In the face of growing international pressure on Sri Lanka by western nations and rights watchdogs to set up an independent probe into alleged war crimes, there was speculation that the government may not make the crucial LLRC report public.

Sri Lanka has used the LLRC to thwart criticism on the government's rights record during the final stages of the war with the LTTE, which ended in May 2009.

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