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Monday, October 26, 2009 - 12.14 GMT

President to appoint committee to examine US report


President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint an independent committee to comprehensively examine and provide recommendations for his consideration with regard to the report by the US Department of State to the Congress on "Incidents During the Recent Conflict in Sri Lanka".

This was stated at a press briefing by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights today (26).

Once the committee reports back to the President, a consolidated government response to the US State Department report will be formulated, said the Minister. He added that Sri Lanka has already answered to almost all of the incidents mentioned in the report.

The Minister emphasized that the report itself states that none of the incidents mentioned are verified. He quoted page 3 of the report stating thus, 'The report does not reach legal conclusions as to whether the incidents described herein actually constitute violations of IHL [international humanitarian law], crimes against humanity or other violations of international law. Nor does it reach conclusions concerning whether the alleged incidents detailed herein actually occurred'.

Minister Samarasinghe stressed that the US State Department is very clear that there is no legal basis for the information contained and also claimed that the report does not mention about a war crimes probe anywhere as some sections of the media is falsely reporting and asked that this should not be 'blown out of proportion'. He added that Sri Lanka has not been singled out with regard to such reports and that this is a general report made when the appropriation bill is considered where reports have been made on several countries in the past.






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Last modified: October 27, 2009.

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