Sri Lanka panel to probe conflict commissions’ findings

Colombo, January 22

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a three-member panel to probe the findings of the previous commissions appointed by the state to investigate human rights abuses committed during the last phase of the armed conflict with the LTTE in 2009.

Rajapaksa appointed a judge of the highest court, a former chief of the police and a retired bureaucrat to the three-member panel, according to a gazette dated Thursday. They have been tasked to find out if the previous panels had revealed any serious human rights violations, whether they made any recommendations, whether the suggestions were implemented and the steps needed to be taken to implement such recommendations.

UN rights body meet in Feb

The move comes ahead of the United Nations Human Rights Council meet in February in which President Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led Sri Lankan government’s rights accountability will be discussed.

Sri Lanka under the previous government had co-sponsored two United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions, which called for independent investigations into alleged rights abuses committed by both the LTTE and the government troops during the last phase of the armed conflict.

The government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in 2019 announced it was withdrawing from the co-sponsorship of resolutions and blamed the previous government of betraying Sri Lanka’s sovereignty by doing so.

The latest move the government claims stems from their willingness to cooperate with the UN mechanisms.— PTI

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