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The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission( LLRC) Concludes its work- The Final Report will be handed over to the President on 20 November

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) officially concludes its work on 15 November, 2011. The Presidential Secretariat has advised the Chairman and the Commission that the final Report  be handed over to His Excellency the President  on  20th November  at the President’s Office.  

The LLRC was appointed by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 15 May 2010. The Commission held 57 public sessions and undertook 12 field visits at over 40 locations to talk to the people in the North and East and in other affected areas of the country.  In response to its public notices, over a thousand people appeared before the  Commission to make representations and the Commission additionally received and analyzed over  5100 written  submissions. This public interaction activity in Colombo and  throughout the country lasted nearly 11 months. The Commission also held unscheduled meetings with the general public especially in areas affected by conflict and in IDP settlements. The Commission revisited certain areas in the North and East in order to further clarify issues, verify information and formulate recommendations. 

The Commission submitted  its Interim Recommendations  to  the President covering issues relating to detainees, law and order, land, Illegal armed groups, and language in September 2010. 

The Commission examined the progression of the conflict that afflicted Sri Lanka as well as  looked ahead towards  an era of healing and peace building in the country. It endeavoured to analyse submissions as well as  other published reports, both local and international, relevant to its mandate in order  to  draw lessons, and  make recommendations based on  an  analysis of the course of the conflict and its causes  with a view to redressing  grievances while  taking  the country forward to an era of reconcilitation and  peace building.

The Commission  was gratified  that its work was facilitated  by a significant   cross-section of the citizenry of Sri Lanka who appreciated the Commission’ outreach work.  The Commission’s analysis and recommendations are anchored  on the ideas , opinions and observations made by those thousands  who came before it to  either make oral presentations or written submissions. The  Commission facilitated this process of community consultation by holding public sittings particulary in the affected rural  areas of the Country. Public sittings were held in the Districts of  Jaffna, Mannar,  Kilinochchi,  Mullaitivu, Vauniya, Trincomalee,  Batticaloa, Ampara,  Moneragala, Anuradhapura, Kandy, Galle and Matara, and in Colombo. 

Representations were heard or received  from  a  broad spectrum of people and organizations, the general public, the academia, professionals, business leaders, defence officials, detained LTTE cadres, clergy and religious dignitaries,  administrative officers, politicians, inter-faith groups, persons who had experienced the conflict first- hand, ex-LTTE  members, former members of other armed groups, Citizens Committee representatives,  NGO representatives, Sri Lankan expatriates and persons who have been generally affected by the conflict .

 The Commission sought to ensure that the public sessions or written submissions were made in the language of choice of the respective persons. The oral submissions were simultaneously translated into a link language.  Any person had the choice of making an oral submissions in public or in-camera. If any person  had a concern about appearing in person before the Commission, he or she had the liberty to hand- over  a written submission  in person or send via post or  through a third party. Fundamental to the Commission’s work methods were the principles of transparency, objectivity and impartiality. Accordingly all transcripts of  the Commission’s deliberations  at public sittings were published on the LLRC Web site .

The Commission’s recommendations focus on a broad range of issues vital for building  post conflict reconciliation, stability  and  socio economic development. The Commission  is confident that its  recommendations  would   constitute a framework for action by all stakeholders, including the Government, political parties , and all communities. This framework would go a long way towards  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 believes that the Government, as well as all political  parties  and leaders must manifest political will and sincerity of purpose  to take necessary actions  to ensure implementation of the recommendations. The Commission makes an earnest appeal to all parties concerned, in particular to the Government  to  make all efforts to that end through consensual approaches..

The Commission wishes  to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped in various ways to ease  the burden of its complex and difficult mandate  and  to make its work a  rewarding experience. The success of the Commission’s work will of course  depend on the extent to which its recommendations are implemented, especially in the context of the tardy track record of successive Governments in that regard. The Commission wishes especially to thank all those persons and organizations who made a proactive choice to make  presentations or sent written submissions, and the Media for its assistance in taking the message across, which motivated more people to come before the Commission.

Lakshman Wickramasinghe

Media Consultant- LLRC     





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