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Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 6.25 GMT
Missing Persons Commission to consider

Civilian casualties and ‘Rule of War’

Whether LTTE was subjected to international humanitarian law

 

A Missing Persons Commission has been appointed by the President, to consider whether loss of civilian life is capable of constituting collateral damage of a kind that occurs in the prosecution of proportionate attacks against targeted military objectives in armed conflicts and is expressly recognized under the laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law, and whether such civilian casualties were either the deliberate or unintended consequence of the rules of engagement during the said armed conflict in Sri Lanka.

His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in pursuance of the Provisions of Section 2 of the Commission of Inquiry Act (Chapter 393) and in accordance with the Para.

4.359 of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) dated 15th November 2011 has extended the scope of the Mandate of the Commission vide Gazette No 1871 /18 dated 15th July 2014 to investigate and report the following specific issues;

Among the adherence to or neglect of the principles of distinction, military necessity and proportionality under the laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law, by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

Whether the LTTE as a non-state actor was subjected to international humanitarian law, in the conduct of its military operations.

The use by the LTTE of civilians as human shields and the extent to which such action constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law or international human rights law, and did or may have significantly contributed to the loss of civilian life.

The full text of the this notice to the public is given below:

His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in pursuance of the Provisions of Section 2 of the Commission of Inquiry Act (Chapter 393) and in accordance with the Para.

4.359 of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) dated 15th November 2011 has extended the scope of the Mandate of the Commission vide Gazette No 1871 /18 dated 15th July 2014 to investigate and report the following specific issues;

A. In this connection, the Commission is hereby required to investigate and report on the following specific issues:

The principle facts and circumstances that led to the loss of civilian life during the internal armed conflict that ended on the 19th May 2009, and whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly bears responsibility in this regard by reason of a violation or violations of international humanitarian law or international human rights law. Whether such loss of Civilian life is capable of constituting collateral damage of a kind that occurs in the prosecution of proportionate attacks against targeted military objectives in armed conflicts and is expressly recognized under the laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law, and whether such civilian casualties were either the deliberate or unintended consequence of the rules of engagement during the said armed conflict in Sri Lanka.

The adherence to or neglect of the principles of distinction, military necessity and proportionality under the laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law, by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

Whether the LTTE as a non-state actor was subject to international humanitarian law in the conduct of its military operations.

The use by the LTTE of civilians as human shields and the extent to which such action constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law or international human rights law, and did or may have significantly contributed to the loss of civilian life.

B. The recruitment of child soldiers by the LTTE or illegal armed groups-affiliated with the LTTE or any political party in violation of international humanitarian law or international human rights law.

C. International criminal activities of the LTTE and the application of financial and other resources obtained through such illegal activities in the prosecution of the conventional and guerilla war in Sri Lanka by the LTTE.

D. The suicide attacks by LTTE using child soldiers and other combatants under the direct orders of the leader of the LTTE, Velupillai Prabhakaran or any persons acting on his behalf, and the culpability for such actions under the international humanitarian law or international human rights law.

02. Accordingly, the Commission has decided to accept complaints of incidents that occurred up to 19th May 2009 as set out in section 4.359 of the LLRC report.

03. Any person, persons or organizations can submit their complaints in Sinhala, Tamil or English to the Secretary of the Commission to the address given below by Registered Post on or before 31st December 2014.

04. The details of the date and place of the incident and the person responsible for the incident and the affected persons should be included in the complaints.

05. The complaints received by the Commission will be analyzed and the complainants will be summoned to appear before the Commission at a place convenient to the public. Details in this regard will be notified later.

06. Any complainant is entitled to make a representation to the Commission in camera.

07. All persons giving evidence before the Commission will be entitled to the privileges under Section 14 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act.

By order of the Commission.
H.W.Gunadasa, Secretary to the Commission.

Address to which complaints should be submitted: H.W. Gunadasa, Secretary, Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints regarding Missing Persons. 9/8, Suranimala Place, Colombo 06.
Tel. No / Fax - 0112199944, E-mail - , Web - www.pcicmp.lk 

 

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Last modified: November 15, 2014.

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