Report of the COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON LESSONS LEARNT AND RECONCILIATION

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1 Report of the COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON LESSONS LEARNT AND RECONCILIATION November 2011

2 Members of the Commission Chitta Ranjan de Silva Esquire, P.C. Chairman Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera Esquire, P.C. Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte Esquire, Chandirapal Chanmugam Esquire, Hewa Matara Gamage Siripala Palihakkara Esquire, Mrs. Manohari Ramanathan Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama Esquire, Mohamed Thowfeek Mohamed Bafiq Esquire. i

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9 Mr. C.R de Silva, PC (Chairman) Dr. A. Rohan Perera, PC (Member) Prof. Karu Hangawatte (Member) Mr. C.Chanmugam (Member) Mr. H.M.G.S Palihakkara (Member) Mrs. Manohari Ramanathan (Member) Mr. M.P Paranagama (Member) Mr. M.T.M. Bafiq (Member) Mr. S. B. Atugoda (Secretary) mícik fldñika ind mkf;a 2 jk j.ka;sh hgf;a w;s.re ckdêm;s;=uka úiska m;alrk,o W.;a mdvï iy m%;sikaodkh ms<sn jq ckdêm;s mícik fldñika indj tprhuiz Mizf;FOf;fs; rl;lj;jpd; 2 Mk; gphptpd; fpo; mjpnkjf rdhjpgjp mth;fspdhy; epakpf;fg;gl;l fw;wf;nfhz;l ghlq;fsk; ey;ypzf;fkk; gw;wpa rdhjpgjp tprhuiz Mizf;FO COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON LESSONS LEARNT AND RECONCILIATION APPOINTED BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT IN TERMS OF SECTION 2 OF THE COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY ACT uf.a wxlh vdj,y My No His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Colombo. Your Excellency, Tfí wxlh ckj,y Your No. We have the honour to refer to the Proclamation issued by Your Excellency on 15 th May 2010 in pursuance of the provisions of Section 2 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act (Chapter 393) and letter of 7 th September 2010, appointing the undersigned as Your Excellency s Commissioners for the purpose of inquiring into and reporting on matters enumerated in the Terms of Reference included in the Proclamation. We hereby submit to Your Excellency, our Report thereon. Please accept Excellency the assurances of our highest consideration. oskh jpfjp Date. 15 th November, 2011,CIuka lè¾.du¾ cd;hka;r in ;d yd Wmdhud¾.sl wohhk wdh;kh" wxl 24" fyda¾gka fmfoi" fld<u 07. ÿrl;kh yf;~;kd; fjpu;fhku; ru;tnjrj; njhlu;gfsk;> cgha Ma;TfSf;Fkhd epwtfk;>,y.24 N`hu;ld; gpns];> nfhok;g 07 njhiyngrp: Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, No.24 Horton Place Colombo 07. Telephone: Fax: ; Web: viii

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11 15 th November 2011 Abbreviations and Acronyms CARE CCHA CDS CFA CGES DMI DS ENDLF EPDP EPRLF FDL FTR GA GN GOSL HR HSZ ICRC IDP IHL IMF INGO JOC KKS LTTE MOD MPCS NCO NGO NFZ PHI Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance Chief of Defence Staff Ceasefire Agreement Commissioner General of Essential Services Director Military Intelligence Divisional Secretariat Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front Eelam People s Democratic Party Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front Forward Defence Line Family Tracing and Reunification Unit Government Agent Grama Niladhari Government of Sri Lanka Human Rights High Security Zone International Committee of the Red Cross Internally Displaced Person International Humanitarian Law International Monetary Fund International Non-governmental Organization Joint Operations Command Kankesanthurai Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Ministry of Defence Multi Purpose Cooperative Societies Non-Commissioned Officer Non-governmental Organization No Fire Zone Public Health Inspector x

12 PLOTE PTA PTF PTK RDS REPPIA SCOPP SEZ SIHRN SLA SLMM STF TELO TMVP UAV UNHCR UNOCHA UN RC/HC WFP People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam Prevention of Terrorism Act Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province Puthukkudiyiruppu Rural Development Society Rehabilitation of Persons, Properties and Industries Authority Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process Special Economic Zone Sub Committee for Immediate Humanitarian Needs Sri Lanka Army Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Special Task Force Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal Unmanned Aerial Vehicle United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UN Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator World Food Program xi

13 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In presenting this final report, the Commission wishes to place on record its sincere thanks to all those who, in different ways, extended their support to the work of the Commission. The Commission thanks all those who sent in written submissions, and those who presented themselves before the Commission and shared their views, on matters relevant to the mandate of the Commission. Particular mention is made of the general public who travelled from afar and those who are residing abroad and volunteered to appear before the Commission to share their views. The Commission also wishes to thank all those whose expertise in their respective fields assisted it in its deliberations. It was a source of encouragement for the Commissioners to see the enthusiasm shown by a large number of members of the public who followed the public sessions of the Commission held in Colombo and the districts. The Commission thanks both the print and electronic media, for the wide coverage they gave to the proceedings of the Commission, held both in Colombo and, also, in very remote areas of the country. In fulfilling its mandate the Commission needed to visit several parts of the country, and had to seek the assistance of many Government officials and other institutions, both in Colombo and the other districts, with regard to logistics. The willing support extended by these officials, greatly facilitated the work of the Commission, and the Commission expresses its thanks to all of them. In conclusion, the Commission wishes to express its sincere thanks to the former and present Secretary of the Commission, Senior staff members, Consultants and to all other members of the Secretariat staff, and the interpreters and translators who performed their duties with a sense of responsibility and dedication, even beyond their call of duty, to our complete satisfaction. xii

14 TABLE OF CONTENTS PREAMBLE...1 CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION AND METHODOLOGY...5 CHAPTER 2 - CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT Introduction Background to the Ceasefire Agreement Political and Security Dimensions Negotiating Process Resulting Impact on the Provisions of the CFA Factors which had a bearing on the Implementation of the CFA Economic and Social Dimensions Observations of the Commission CHAPTER 3 - OVERVIEW OF SECURITY FORCES OPERATIONS Background Eastern Operations Wanni Operations Security Forces Casualties and LTTE Casualties CHAPTER 4 HUMANITARIAN LAW ISSUES Principles of International Humanitarian Law Sri Lanka Experience Evaluation of the Sri Lanka Experience in the context of allegations of violations of IHL Concluding Observations on the IHL regime in its application to Internal Conflicts Casualties Channel 4 Video CHAPTER 5 - HUMAN RIGHTS xiii

15 Introduction Human rights issues arising from the conflict CHAPTER 6 LAND ISSUES: RETURN AND RESETTLEMENT Introduction The Situation of People Who Lost Land Due to Conflict Return and Resettlement Current Progress in Return and Resettlement Constraints and Challenges Conclusions and Recommendations CHAPTER 7 - RESTITUTION / COMPENSATORY RELIEF CHAPTER 8 RECONCILIATION Issues impacting on Post Conflict Reconciliation Reconciliation CHAPTER 9 - PRINCIPAL OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Chapter Two: Observations on the Ceasefire Agreement Chapter Three: Narration of Events only Chapter Four: Observations and Recommendations IHL Issues relevant to the final phase of the conflict Chapter Five: Observations and Recommendations on Human Rights Chapter Six: Observations and Recommendations on Land Issues: Return and Resettlement Chapter Seven: Observations and Recommendations on Restitution / Compensatory Relief Chapter Eight: Reconciliation - Section I: Observations on issues impacting on Post Conflict Reconciliation Chapter Eight: Reconciliation - Section II: Observations and Recommendations on Reconciliation xiv

16 LIST OF ANNEXES Annexe No. Description Preamble 1 Proclamation by His Excellency the President Chapter 1 Introduction and Methodology 1.1 Notice inviting public representations 1.2 List of representations received 1.3 List of persons/members of organizations who made oral submissions in Colombo following written representations or requests List of persons invited by the Commission to make oral submissions 1.4 List of Places visited by the Commission 1.5 Interim Recommendations Chapter 2 Ceasefire Agreement No Annexes Chapter 3 - Overview of Security Forces Operations 3.1 (i-v) Details of attacks on /killings of civilians, civilian targets, VIPs/politicians, economic targets, military targets. Source : Ministry of Defence 3.2 Map showing LTTE dominated area in the Eastern Province. Source : Ministry of Defence 3.3 Map of the sequence of the Eastern operations. Source: Ministry of Defence 3.4 Map showing LTTE dominated areas in the Wanni. Source : Ministry of Defence 3.5 Map of the sequence of the Wanni operations. Source : Ministry of Defence 3.6 Map showing the NFZs. xv

17 Chapter 4 - Humanitarian Law Issues 4.1 Letter from Air Force Commander dated 29 September Copy of leaflet dropped by the SLA. Source : Sri Lanka Army 4.3 SLA letter No. DMI/INT/200A/16b (Vol ) dated 19 January 2009 to the ICRC. 4.4 SLA letter No. DMI/INT/200A/16b(Vol ) dated 11 February, 2009 to the ICRC. 4.5 Director Military Intelligence letter No. DMI/INT/200A/16b (Vol ) dated 8 May 2009 to Joint Operations Headquarters. ICRC Vavuniya had also been informed. 4.6 Copies of leaflets dropped by the SLA. Source SLA 4.7 (i-ii) Two letters dated 4th February 2009 from UN Chief Security Adviser to Chief of Defense Staff 4.8 UAV footage showing LTTE gun positions 4.9 UAV footage 4.10 ICRC letter No. COL/09/234/LSC/EPP/PCA dated 24 January 2009 to the Commander of the Army 4.10 ICRC letter No. COL/09/234/LSC/EPP/PCA dated 24 January 2009 to the Commander of the Army 4.11 ICRC letter No. COL/09/334/EPP/PCA dated 1 February 2009 to Chief of Defence Staff 4.12 Presidential Task Force for Resettlement,, Development & Security Northern Province, letter No. PTF/NP/1/7 dated 6 April, 2011 furnishing detailed account of the humanitarian relief provided to civilian population in Jaffna and Wanni districts Letter dated 22 June 2011 from WFP 4.14 Medical supplies sent to the conflict areas and acknowledged by the Regional Medical Supplies Division, Trincomalee. Source : Ministry of Health 4.15 List of Missing Persons who surrendered in May Invitation letters to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group 4.17 Reply received from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch,and International Crisis Group and the Response by the Commission. xvi

18 4.18 Full report by Dr. Chathura de Silva 4.19 Full report by Prof. E.A. Yfantis Chapter 5 Human Rights 5.1 Table 1 - Summary of representations made concerning allegations on missing persons during field visits Table 2 - Breakdown of representations in Table 1 Ampara Table 3 - Breakdown of representations in Table 1 Batticaloa Table 4 - Breakdown of representations in Table 1- Jaffna Table 5 - Breakdown of representations in Table 1- Kilinochchi Table 6 - Breakdown of representations in Table 1- Mannar Table 7 - Breakdown of representations in Table 1- Moneragala Table 8 - Breakdown of representations in Table 1 Trincomalee 5.2 Table 9 - Summary of representations made concerning detainees Table 10 - Summary of representations made on those who surrendered Table 11 - Breakdown of representations in Table 9 Ampara Table 12 - Breakdown of representations in Table 9 Batticaloa Table 13 - Breakdown of representations in Table 9 Jaffna Table 14 - Breakdown of representations in Table 9 Kilinochchi Table 15 - Breakdown of representations in Table 9 Mannar Table 16 - Breakdown of representations in Table 9 Moneragala Table 17 - Breakdown of representations in Table 9 Trincomalee 5.3 Details of Children s Homes and Orphanages in the Northern Province Chapter 6 Land Issues : Return and Resettlement xvii

19 6.1 Settlement Assistance Package 6.2 Circular on Regulating the Activities Regarding Management of Lands in the Northern and Eastern Provinces issued by the Commissioner General of Lands Chapter 7 Restitution / Compensatory Relief 7.1 Budget estimate and payments relating to all schemes administered by REPPIA ( ) 7.2 Trend in recent payments by REPPIA : concentration in the Northern and Eastern Provinces Chapter 8 Reconciliation 8.1 Questionnaire sent by the Commission to the Government Agents 8.2 Responses received from the Government Agents List of Senior Staff xviii

20 PREAMBLE The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was appointed by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa in terms of the Presidential Warrant dated 15 th May The Commission s mandate was to look back at the conflict Sri Lanka suffered as well as to look ahead for an era of healing and peace building in the country. Sri Lanka now faces a moment of unprecedented opportunity. Rarely does such an opportunity come along without equally important attendant challenges. This is especially true of any meaningful effort towards post-conflict peace building following a protracted conflict. Sri Lanka s case is no exception. Terrorism and violence have ended. Time and space have been created for healing and building sustainable peace and security so that the fruits of democracy and citizenship can be equitably enjoyed by all Sri Lankans. To this end, the success of ending armed conflict must be invested in an all-inclusive political process of dialogue and accommodation so that the conflict by other means will not continue. The Commission was gratified to learn from people who appeared before it, that the promise of the present opportunity far outweighs the burden of attendant challenges. Having listened to these views from all corners of the country and from all strata of society, the Commission is inclined to share this optimism despite some uncertainties that still loom. However, if these expectations were to become a reality in the form of a multi-ethnic nation at peace with itself in a democratic Sri Lanka, the Government and all political leaders must manifest political will and sincerity of purpose to take the necessary decisions to ensure the good-faith implementation of the Commission s recommendations. Based on what it heard from the people, the Commission is confident that the citizens are ready and willing to support consensual approaches advancing national interest, national reconciliation, justice and equality for all citizens, so long as the political leaders take the lead in a spirit of tolerance, accommodation and compromise. The required decisions in this regard touch upon a broad spectrum of issues that are the subject matter of comment and recommendations contained in the present report. These relate to a number of vital questions that are indispensable to any good-faith attempt at reconciliation and peace-building. 1 The Proclamation is at Annex 1 1

21 The Commission hopes that its observations and recommendations would provide pointers to areas where such decisions are needed, sooner rather than later. These areas include governance, devolution, human rights, international humanitarian law, socio economic development, livelihood issues, issues affecting hearts and minds, leadership issues and many more. While not being an exhaustive agenda to address, let alone cure, all ills of post conflict Sri Lanka, the recommendations of the Commission could nevertheless constitute a framework for action by all stakeholders, in particular the Government, political parties and community leaders. This framework would go a long way in constructing a platform for consolidating post conflict peace and security as well as amity and cooperation within and between the diverse communities in Sri Lanka. The Commission therefore urges that effect be given to its recommendations and encourages the promotion of public awareness of the contents and implementation of these measures. Such a course of action would help all communities to live in peace and harmony and ensure that no room is left for terrorism and violence to raise their ugly head again. In formulating its recommendations, the Commission took into account inter alia the following, based on the citizens views it heard: Historical, social and political factors that point to the causes of ethnic and citizen grievances; The facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the ceasefire agreement in 2002, with a view to finding lessons that can be learnt to avoid such failures in the future; Sri Lanka s experience in dealing with terrorism and the effects of the culture of violence on good governance, law and order and civilian life; The events that unfolded from February, 2002 to May, 2009, and specially the incidents that took place during the armed conflict after the Mavil Aru incident; these events and incidents were examined in the context of the International Humanitarian Law and the Human Rights Law and related, inter alia, to the following: - obligation to educate the members of the armed forces in the relevant aspects of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law; - measures taken to safeguard civilians and to avoid civilian casualties during military operations; - establishment of No Fire Zones and the LTTE strategy of using human shields; 2

22 - supply of humanitarian relief including food and medicine to civilians in conflict areas; - medical facilities and medical supplies during the final stages of the conflict; - conduct of the Security Forces during the movement of civilians and combatants to cleared areas; - alleged disappearances; - allegations concerning abductions; - treatment of detainees; and, - conscription of children by the LTTE and other armed groups. Issues relating to land matters, specially as regards settling the returnees and resettlement of the IDPs; Restitution/Compensatory Relief: Post Conflict issues that affect vulnerable groups and the citizens at large; and Policies and measures that will promote reconciliation through healing, amity and unity. A summary of the principal observations and recommendations is set out in Chapter 9. 3

23 Chapter 1 - Introduction and Methodology Section Paragraph Numbers Establishment of the Commission The Mandate Methodology

24 Chapter 1 - Introduction and Methodology Establishment of the Commission 1.1 The following eight members were appointed to the Commission by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Proclamation dated 15 th May Chitta Ranjan de Silva Esquire, P.C., Chairman Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera Esquire, P.C., Professor. Mohamed Thahir Mohamed Jiffry Esquire, Professor. Karunaratna Hangawatte Esquire, Chandirapal Chanmugam Esquire, Hewa Matara Gamage Siripala Palihakkara Esquire, Mrs. Manohari Ramanathan, Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama Esquire 1.2 One of the members appointed, Professor M.T.M. Jiffry, was unable to serve on the Commission due to failing health and resigned with effect from 31 st August, Mr. Mohamed Thowfeeq Mohamed Bafiq Esquire, Senior Attorney at Law, replaced him with effect from 7 th September, Mr. S.M. Samarakoon, was appointed Secretary to the Commission. He resigned from this position with effect from 7 th September, 2010 and was succeeded by Mr. S.B. Atugoda, with effect from 14 th September, The Commission held its first meeting on 11 th June, Its Secretariat was established at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of Strategic Studies and International Relations, No. 24, Horton Place, Colombo 7. The Mandate 1.5 In the Mandate, contained in the Proclamation, the Commissioners were to inquire and report on the following matters that may have taken place during the period between 21 st February 2002 and 19 th May 2009, namely; i. The facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the Ceasefire Agreement operationalized on 21 st February 2002 and the sequence of events that followed thereafter up to the 19 th of May 2009; 2 See Annex 1 5

25 ii. Whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly bear responsibility in this regard; iii. The lessons we would learn from those events and their attendant concerns, in order to ensure that there will be no recurrence; iv. The methodology whereby restitution to pay persons affected by those events or their dependants or their heirs, can be effected; v. The institutional, administrative and legislative measures which need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence of such concerns in the future, and to promote further national unity and reconciliation among communities and; to make any such other recommendations with reference to any of the matters that have been inquired into under the terms of the Warrant Under the Warrant establishing the Commission, the President noted inter alia that an opportune moment has arrived to reflect on the conflict phase and the sufferings that the country has gone through as a whole during this period. The President also noted that a need has arisen to learn from this recent history, lessons that would ensure that there will be no recurrence of any internecine conflict in the future and that people are assured of an era of peace, harmony and prosperity. 1.7 Accordingly, the work of the Commission proceeded, acknowledging a clear need to heal the wounds of the past and to make recommendations to reconcile the nation by recognizing all victims of conflict, providing redress to them and thereby promoting national unity, peace and harmony. Methodology 1.8 The Commission invited representations from the public through notices in the print and electronic media. A copy of the notice is at Annex 1.1. Public notices were also disseminated in the affected areas well in advance of the hearings of the Commission in such areas. In response to these notices, the Commission received a large number of representations from the public. (Annex 1.2). Many of them requested for an opportunity to express their views before the Commission on matters referred to in the Warrant. (The list of persons who appeared before the Commission is at Annex 1.3). The Commission considered both written and oral presentations without distinction. 1.9 The primary source of information for the Commission s work was the general public of Sri Lanka, particularly those from the conflict affected areas and a number of national organizations and civil society groups who expressed their concerns and views in 6

26 response to the Commission s public notices inviting such views. In addition, the Commission also took into account, where appropriate and relevant to its mandate, a range of issues raised in published material in the form of reports by national and international organizations, including the report of the UN Secretary - General s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka Although the Commission was constituted by Presidential Warrant dated 15 th May, 2010, setting in place the requisite modalities including institutional and administrative arrangements relating to the functions of the Commission took up a considerable period of time. After the completion of such arrangements the Commission commenced hearings on 11 th August The hearings were held in public and open to the print and electronic media unless the person making representations before the Commission requested otherwise. The procedure adopted at the public hearings was to first inform the representer that he or she could be heard in public or in camera. Some representers elected to make submissions in camera. Thereafter the Commissioners proceeded to interact through questions with the representer to clarify any matters that arose consequent to the representations made or which they felt were relevant to the terms of the Warrant The Commission provided every opportunity to persons to make representations in a language of their choice, while providing for simultaneous translation to English. The Commission thus recognized the salutary effect, particularly on affected persons, of being able to relate their stories in a language of their choice. For the purposes of the Report the Commission utilized the English scripts of the simultaneous English translation The Commission decided to consult and hear the views of persons who would have personal experience and knowledge on different aspects of matters referred to in the Warrant. Invitations were also extended to local NGOs as well as NGOs based outside Sri Lanka, that have produced reports on the situation in this country pertaining to matters relevant to the Warrant. However, it is a matter of regret that despite the invitation extended in good faith, seeking a constructive dialogue on what the Commission considered as issues of common concern falling under the purview of its Mandate, this invitation has not been reciprocated by three organizations 3. As the public sittings progressed and consequent to the wide media coverage, there was a keen response from members of the public to express their views before the Commission. 3 Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and International Crisis Group 7

27 1.13 The Commission took several steps to make its work transparent. The hearings were open to the public and the media, except when a person making representations requested confidentiality. The Commission facilitated the media to video and audio tape the public proceedings. In addition the Commission maintained a web site, since August 2010, where the schedule of Commission visits and transcripts of public hearings, public representations and other information regarding the Commission were published Among those who made representations before the Commission were members of the public, public servants including those who had served in the affected areas during the conflict period, affected individuals, representatives of the armed forces, senior officials who were associated with the peace process, political leaders, religious leaders, members of civil society, journalists, academics and other professionals, former LTTE cadres and former members of other armed groups In addition to the public sittings in Colombo, the Commission undertook field visits to areas affected by the conflict. A list of places visited by the Commission is at Annex 1.4. The Commission was of the view that in order to ascertain first-hand the ground realities, it was imperative to have public sittings in situ. This was also with a view to reaching out to the people in the affected areas and to enable them to highlight their grievances. These people would otherwise have faced considerable difficulties in travelling to Colombo to make their representations. Through this process the Commission was able to acknowledge the suffering of the people in the affected areas and provide an opportunity for them to tell their stories in familiar surroundings. This approach focused on the restorative dimensions of the Commission s Mandate In certain instances where the general public who appeared before the Commission articulated grievances or complaints requesting the Commission to do what it can to provide relief and where the Commission felt such expeditious action would help redress such grievances and provide relief to the party concerned, the Commission took the liberty to refer the matter to the Attorney General requesting appropriate investigation and action In addition to scheduled public meetings, the Commissioners also made it a point to have unscheduled, impromptu meetings to speak with members of the public to obtain first hand information about the situation. Where possible, the Commission sought clarifications from persons who appeared before the Commission or provided material to the Commission through informal meetings both in Colombo and during its follow up visits to the provinces. 8

28 1.18 On the 13 th of September 2010 the Commission made its Interim Recommendations to His Excellency the President, covering a range of issues relating to Detention, Law and Order, Land, Administration and Language, which in the view of the Commission deserved urgent attention. The Commission also expressed the view that immediate action on these matters would provide relief and engender a sense of confidence among the people affected by the conflict and also provide an impetus to the reconciliation process. The Commission s Interim Recommendations are attached at Annex The hearings held throughout the country and the public attention it generated particularly through the provincial media, resulted in a substantial increase in public awareness and interest in the work of the Commission. As such, the Commission had to extend the deadline for making representations in order to accommodate a continuous flow of requests from the public. In the light of these developments and the consequent increase in representations made to the Commission, it became clear that it was not feasible to conclude its work within the time period specified in the original Warrant. Accordingly, by Warrant dated 3 rd November 2010 issued by His Excellency the President, the time limit for rendering the final Report of the Commission was extended until 15 th May The Commission continued its public hearings until the 31 st of January The Commission also continued to receive written representations until the 13 th of June As the process of analyzing the large volume of material gathered progressed, it was evident to the Commission that there were several specific areas and issues which required further elucidation/clarification, before the Commission could make an assessment of the matters, for inclusion in the report. Accordingly the Commission invited several public officials, military officials, experts and members of the public to appear before the Commission, some on several occasions. Follow up visits to some of the provinces were also arranged. All of this made it necessary for the Commission to seek a further extension of time. By Warrant dated 10 th May 2011 issued by His Excellency the President the time limit was extended until 15 th November The Commission was conscious of the fact that the remit of the Commission required it to report on matters that may have taken place during the period between 21 st February 2002 and 19 th May At the same time it also recognized that the causes underlying the grievances of different communities had its genesis in the period prior to 9

when will they get justice? lessons learnt And

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