CTC Urges the Immediate Release of the LLRC Report

The Canadian Tamil Congress calls upon the President of Sri Lanka to make the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) public immediately.

The 400-page report was handed over to President Rajapaksa on Sunday November 20th, 2011. The Commission, which was initially due to release its findings approximately one year ago, has twice extended the final date. While it has been reported that Sri Lanka’s response will be presented to Parliament, the President has not indicated when.

The LLRC, appointed by President Rajapaksa in May 2010, has received 1000 oral testimonies since it began sessions in August. More than 5000 written statements were also handed over to the panel.

The LLRC was in response to the UN Secretary General appointing a Panel of Experts to look into the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka. The panel’s report concluded that there were “credible allegations, which, if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international humanitarian rights law was committed both by the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Since the release of the Panel of Expert’s report, the Government of Sri Lanka has rejected the report’s findings and has managed to deflect mounting international pressure for accountability in the guise of its so-called independent special commission of inquiry.

In light of escalating international pressure, the world has been anxiously waiting for the LLRC report. 18 months later, the report has now been submitted to the President but it remains unclear as to when it will be made public. While the Canadian Tamil Congress is of the opinion that the LLRC is, as recently described by Amnesty International, seriously flawed and by no means a credible accountability mechanism, it calls for the immediate release of the report to the public.

“Since the hearings were public, the government has a responsibility to make the findings public”, said David Poopalapillai, National Spokesperson of the Canadian Tamil Congress. “The victims and their loved ones deserve the truth. Truth and accountability is critical for any meaningful reconciliation,” he added.

The findings of the LLRC will become meaningful only when this document becomes public. Without accountability and justice in Sri Lanka, the hope for reconciliation and lasting peace in Sri Lanka will be bleak. Accordingly, the Canadian Tamil Congress calls upon the Canadian Government and the international community to pressure Sri Lanka to make the LLRC report public immediately.

For more information please contact Canadian Tamil Congress at (416) 240-0078.

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