Archive for February 13, 2011

Center for Human Rights -Sri Lanka has released it report on the Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) just few days ago. The Lesson’s Learnt and Reconciliation commission (LLRC) was created under the jurisdiction of the H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapakasa, on May 2010, under the statutory powers vested with the president.

Picture by CHR-Sri Lanka

This and many other reported done by the Center can be accessed at Center for Human Rights-Sri Lanka one of the Colombo based human rights organization which is consistently monitoring the out-station sessions of the LLRC.  The mandate of LLRC is to conduct independent and impartial inquiries on into the issues took place between 2002 and May 2009. This period covers full operation of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and the period war which is called “humanitarian operation” by the Sri lankan government. The mandate of the commission is to record people’s concerns, lessons and evidences and recomend measures to ensure that there will not be recurrence of such situation. The mandate of the LLRC was to expire on November 15. It will now be able to continue hearings and submit its reports until May 16, 2011.

Sixth month increase in the period of LLRC’s mandate has been done because large number of persons from Sri Lanka and abroad still to give evidence before it. LLRC official have been claiming that the Commission’s conduct are independent and impartial and its aim is to address past issues and promote national unity and reconciliation among all communities of Sri Lanka. On the contrary, international community doubts LLRC conduct. Three International INGOs: Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch and International Crises Group refused to appear before the commission and issued a joinet letter saying, “there was little to be achieved by appearing before such a fundamentally flawed commission.” LLRC in response to their statement stated that the Commission will defend its impartiallity and independence.

Participant in the LLRC Session-Picture by CHR-Sri Lanka

Question arises how the Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission will conduct its hearings and come up with independent report and recomendations in a environment when anti-terrorism laws and emergency regulations known as anti-human rights laws still exist in the country. These laws grant extra-ordinary and arbitrary powers to the military and police and continue to be used to target opposition and critics of the government policies. No need to go far, a week ago RightsNow-Pakistan reported in these pages, brutal attack on political opposition in which two media men were also assaulted by an armed group allegedly supported by the Government.

RightsNow Pakistan sought views from a Sri Lankan women rights defender, who is living in exile since last few years, on LLRC’s performance. She called LLRC ‘not genuine effort but just a show by the Rajapakse regime.”