Sri Lanka to probe disappearances during war

Colombo, July 26 (IANS) Sri Lanka is to investigate alleged disappearances which took place during the war between Tamil Tigers and the military, a government statement said Friday.

The statement said President Mahinda Rajapaksa directed his secretary Lalith Weeratunga to appoint a commission to look into the incidents of disappearances, reports Xinhua.

The decision with regard to the terms of reference and members of the commission will be taken soon, the presidential media unit said.

A war commission appointed following the end of the conflict in May 2009 recommended that the disappearances and alleged human rights violations during the conflict be investigated.

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), while stressing that the army did not deliberately target civilians, recommended that the government appoint a special commissioner to look into the alleged disappearances and provide material to the Attorney General's Department to initiate criminal proceedings as appropriate, the presidential media unit said.

It also said that 99 percent of former Tamil Tiger cadres were rehabilitated and reintegrated into society. They were provided vocational training and the necessary tools along with monetary assistance to start their own projects.

A panel of independent UN experts have begun investigating new or existing cases of disappearances in Sri Lanka, a UN statement said last week.

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