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Sri Lankan internal war inquiry commission set to begin first public sitting

By Samyuktha

London, Aug 11 (ANI): An eight-member commission on " Lessons Learned and Reconciliation" constituted by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to internally investigate the end of the country's civil war, would begin its first public sitting on Wednesday.

Human rights groups have earlier alleged that the government forces and the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels might have committed war crimes before the war ended last year.

The International Crisis Group - a think-tank - has accused the Sri Lankan military of killing tens of thousands of Tamil civilians during the final onslaught against the LTTE.

Sri Lanka, however, have maintained that its forces did not commit war crimes and assured that this commission will bear witness to the facts, the BBC reported.

The Commission will inquire and report on facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the cease-fire agreement operationalised in February, 2002, and the sequence of events that followed thereafter up to May, 2009, and whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly bear responsibility in this regard.

Sri Lanka had traditionally been a friend of Western countries, but its conduct in the final months of the war created considerable unease in the US and Britain.

Earlier, it hit out against foreign suggestions that an international inquiry on the war is needed. Instead it set up this internal panel to do the needful. (ANI)

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