The official report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was tabled in Parliament today. The official government site the report is available at is, at the time of writing, charitably put, doing very badly with the local and international demand for and interest in the report.

We managed to get a PDF of the report and mirror it online. Read it full screen here. Download a copy of the PDF here.

  • Saro

    Thank you for publicising the LLRC Report, people were of the opinion that even this report prepared by the flowed commission will be delayed from publication as long as possible. The observations and recommendations seem useful though inadequate will be used by the government to impress the world community and not the oppressed Tamil community in order to prevent an impartial inquiry called by the UN Expert Panel. Past experience tells us that even the modest recommendations by the LLRC swill not see the day light. LLRC rightly put the blame for the ethnic conflict on the two main political parties from the South of Sri Lanka, that ruled the country since independence in 1948:

    “9.284

    The process of reconciliation requires a full acknowledgement of the tragedy of theconflict and a collective act of contrition by the political leaders and civil society
    ,
    of bothSinhala and Tamil communities.

    The conflict could have been avoided had the southernpolitical leaders of the two main political parties acted in the national interest andforged a consensus between them to offer an acceptable solution to the Tamil people.”

    • Saleem

      Why did the LLRC specifically NOT advise the government to carry out a process of genuine reconciliation but instead expect a collective action by the generally by ‘political leaders and civil society’ because the main impediment to any reconciliation is the presence of mono-ethnic army and its high handedness in imposing its unilateral control among the oppressed Tamil community in the north and east. Anyone writes about its excesses or the criminality of the paramilitaries are severely beaten or abducted and the perpetrators of these crimes continue to enjoy impunity.

      • Off the Cuff

        The Lankan Armed Forces were NEVER mono ethnic.
        Never in the past and not at the present.
        It will not be so in the future either.

  • joker

    well done to ground view for reading and analysing the report so quickly after it’s publication. I only managed to read like one page in the same span of time that ground view read over 400 pages and concluded “charitably put, doing very badly with the local and international demand for and interest in the report.” the balance, in depth, analytically considered opinions of this website becomes quite evident from such conclusions. well done!

    • Few monickers have been as apt on this site as the one chosen to publish this comment. The full sentence reads “The official government site the report is available at is at the time of writing, charitably put, doing very badly with the local and international demand for and interest in the report.” The stress is on the difficulty accessing the report, and not its contents.

  • Kusum

    9.188 The Soulbury Commission report devoted considerable space to what it called the grievances of minorities.

    Forward by Lord Soulbury to the book(1963), Ceylon: a Divided Nation by B.H. Farmer:
    ”……… I now think it is a pity that the Commission did not also recommend the entrenchment in the constitution of guarantees of fundamental rights, on the lines enacted in the constitution of India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Nigeria and elsewhere.
    Perhaps in any subsequent amendment of Ceylon’s constitution those in authority might take note of the proclamation made by the delegates at the Arfrican conference which met in Lagos two years ago: ‘Fundamental human rights, esp. the right to individual liberty, should be written and entrenched in the constitutions of all countries’. Nevertheless the reconciliation of Tamils and Sinhalese will depend not on constitutional guarantees but on the goodwill, commonsense and humanity of the Government in power and the people who elect it. ..”

  • Ray

    The committee that was appointed in the LLRC pannel did not include any Tamils. This itself shows the Sinhala Dominated facts finding committee was biased.
    There’s going to be forced enforcements but no reconciliation in this report.

    • Saman

      The report has definitely more information than the ill informed UN panel report. The government of SL should prosecute the soldiers and LTTE members who committed crimes.
      However we must note that the war in SL was much better compared to the wars that were fought in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. Those wars are far from over and human suffering will never see an end. But they create an conducive environment for the existence of NGOs like human rights watch and amnesty international. These organizations do not want to see an end to wars. They want wars to be continued and people to be suffered.

      @Ray- Either you re trying to mislead the readers or not informed about formation of the commission.
      Chitta Ranjan de Silva (Sinhalese), P.C. ChairmanDr. Amrith Rohan Perera (Sinhalese), P.C.Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte Esquire(Sinhalese),Chandirapal Chanmugam (Tamil),Hewa Matara Gamage Siripala Palihakkara (Sinhalese),Mrs. Manohari Ramanathan(Tamil),Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama (Sinhalese),Mohamed Thowfeek Mohamed Bafiq (Muslim)

    • Hikz

      A quick Google search can unravel your claims Ray, please don’t lie.

    • Kusum

      http://llrc.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18&Itemid=2
      The Commission

      Chitta Ranjan de Silva Esquire, P.C.
      Former Attorney General

      Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera Esquire, P.C.
      Former Legal Advisor
      Ministry of Foreign Affairs

      Dr. Karunaratne Hangawatte Esquire,
      Professor – Department of Criminal Justice
      University of Nevada, Las Vegas

      Chandirapal Chanmugam Esquire,
      Former Secretary to the Treasury

      Hewa Matara Gamage Siripala Palihakkara Esquire,
      Former Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
      Mrs. Manohari Ramanathan,
      Former Deputy Legal Draftsman

      Member, Monetary Board, Central Bank of Sri Lanka

      Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama Esquire
      Former High Court Judge
      Tax Ombudsman
      Mr. M.T.M. Bafiq Esquire
      Senior Attorney at Law

      Secretary
      S.B. Atugoda Esquire
      Former Ambassador

  • Human

    Amnesty International and the others who dismissed this before were right. There’s not much here besides patting the back of the army.

    • wijayapala

      Do you have any proof that the army did anything worse than the LLRC pointed out?

      • Human
      • wijayapala

        The website you provided gave none of the evidence I was referring to.

      • Lankasri

        Military did violate -(it happens all around the world.. Afgahan, iraq, libya, US,uk etc etc) please check channel 4 docu even its not 100% real, there are ,and pictures fron soldiers mobiles cams etc, (things…..many. even its not 100% real, there are .)
        Those soldiers who did violate must be punished(if they are still alive or not..)publish their names etc.

    • Saman

      It’s very clear that non of those so called human rights organizations or anti sri lankan elements like “Human” have no evidence to say anything beyond what’s already known to the public. Had they known anything beyond whats speculated, they would have come forward and given their testimonies to LLRC. Failure to do so indicates that these elements do not want to see any reconciliation between Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

      If these organizations had evidence to prove that the SL army targeted and shelled hospitals, civilians etc, why did not they come forward to give evidence? The LLRC testimonies were open to public and the report has been written based on the testimonies given by the people. It’s very clear that these so called organizations want to punish the SL government and the SL army, for finishing the war, in other words for ending a 30year long conflict which was a gold mine for so called human rights organizations.

      • Human

        I’m actually the pro-Sri Lankan element here. I want a democratic uncorrupt government that allows all of our communities to live in peace without fear. Allowing criminals to escape prosecution would not be conductive to this end.

        If as you believe there were no crimes committed by the Sri Lankan army forces why are there still restrictions on movement and access in the North (in mine-cleared areas)?

        You state that there was complete freedom to come and present evidence to the LLRC. Perhaps, but who would protect these witnesses if they gave evidence against the government? There is no system of witness protection. No person with damning evidence would present themselves and risk being arrested like Sarath Fonseka who’s in jail now for saying Gotabhya ordered the execution of surrendering LTTE commanders.

      • Hikz

        The ‘human rights’ brigade has already concluded war crimes and crimes against humanity did occur, since according to them anything that says otherwise is a “whitewash”. One would hope they have some actual evidence to back their conclusions; but are we saying Brad and Yolanda were too scared of being white vanned to present their damning evidence? LOL.

  • Rajasekaran Karunanithi

    LLRC is a waste of time and it goes nowhere …

    Rajapakse is good at false promises but not good in implementation of any his shiny, elaborate lies..

    We all can remember the shiny promises of the implementation 13 A …

    Sea of big smiles and sincere promise of 13 A+ and even more ….

    Then lot’s hoodwinks again and implying that even incredibly spectacular “13A+++++” will be implemented as soon as the Tamil Tigers will be killed.

    Well , Tamil Tigers are gone but nothing is done.

    The promises turn out to be empty …

    Now, there are new promises that smell like rotten fish to me …

    There will be demilitarization soon ..

    Ha… Ha… Ha

    This one is for the gullible..

    Another Smoke and Mirrors Dance …

    Another Manipulation

    • Burning_Issue

      “LLRC is a waste of time and it goes nowhere …”

      LLRC is certainly not a waste of time. The Commission was constituted with predominantly Sinhala and there are explicit references to what the Tamils have been arguing for since Independence. It has also made recommendations and if sincerely implemented, it will only be good for the minorities and the country as a whole.

      This does not mean I support its portrayal of the armed forces and the government. Then again, I never expected them to be critical of the MR Regime. Nevertheless, it went far more than I thought they would. It has called for an investigation on the Channel 4 documentary; if attempted, it cannot be done in isolation; it will inevitably encompass the last stages of the war. Hence, the question of accountability has been strengthened even more. Anyhow, the Tamils must not disregard this document out rightly; it has gone at length to legitimise the Tamil question both locally and internationally.

  • Saman

    @Human:
    That’s exactly why it’s important to implement the recommendations given in the report. The SL government must do it. It does not matter who is in power.It’s SL gov’s responsibility implement these recommendations.

    • Human

      It does matter.

      Mahinda didn’t implement the interim recommendations. Why should we believe that he will implement these.

  • Patriot

    It’s fantastic that the GOSL bowed to international pressure and was forced to make the LLRC report public. It proves once again that non-violent activism does work. With the release of the report, the GOSL can no longer say that a domestic mechanism is ongoing. That mechanism is over, it has handed over it’s report, which has been made public, and it clearly and unambigously abosolves the military of any wrong doing.

    What’s especially noteworthy was the acceptance in the report that the GOSL declared No Fire Zones during the height of the war. It uses the term NFZ repeatedly, and even accepts as fact, that the SLA dropped fliers to civilians requesting them to go into the NFZ, thus making a solemn promise that if they heeded the GOSL’s instructions they would find safety. What’s even more shocking is that the LLRC report also agrees that this solemn promise made to the Tamil civilians was deliberately violated by the GOSL by shelling into the NFZ. What’s even worse is that the LLRC actually agrees with GOSL claim that the civillians were held hostage by the LTTE and could not leave. Thus the innocence of the Tamil civilians is unquestioned and unchallenged. They followed the instructions of their government and proceeded into the NFZ as instructed. At that point they were prevented from leaving by a ruthless terrorist group that even shot at the civilians when they tried to leave. The remarkable solution implemented by their own government, the GOSL, for this desperate situation, was to deliberately fire into it’s own NFZ, killing many men, women and childred for no crime or fault of their own. Therefore, the LLRC report despite is conclusion, is prima facie documentation of a crime against humanity. Extraordinary. Because of the LLRC report, the following are now facts that have complete acceptance both within SL and by the UN, Diaspora groups and the IC at large

    1) The GOSL declared a NFZ (No Fire Zone) and instructed civilians to move to these areas.
    2) The Tamil civilians obeyed the GOSL instructions and proceeded into the NFZ.
    3) The Tamil civilians could not leave the NFZ because the LTTE would not let them.
    4) The GOSL instructed it’s army to fire into the NFZ while Tamil civilians were still present in them.

    Thus, the LLRC report will make it impossible for any country to support the GOSL in international fora. International intervention is now imminent. It is inescapable. Let’s try to make the most of it, and more importantly, hope that the souls of the slaughtered civilians forgive us for our crimes.

    • Patriot, you missed a couple of points in your 4-point list. It should read:

      1) The GOSL declared a NFZ (No Fire Zone) and instructed civilians to move to these areas.
      2) The Tamil civilians obeyed the GOSL instructions and proceeded into the NFZ.
      3) The LTTE followed the civilians into the NFZ.
      4) The LTTE opened fire on the SL Army from within the NFZ.
      5) The GOSL instructed it’s Army to fire upon the Tigers in the NFZ while Tamil civilians were still present in them.
      6) The Tamil civilians could not leave the NFZ because the LTTE would not let them.

      Let’s have the whole truth, eh? 😉

  • Nihal Perera

    The report is fundamentally flawed. It seems the goal of the LLRC was to corroborate the military version of events, with the input of a few Tamils here and there. The problem is that it’s difficult for third-parties to evaluate the authenticity of such claims. Recall that journalists were banned from visiting IDP camps. Even now, one needs the permission of the MoD to travel to the North. If journalists had been given free access to the IDP camps, this report would not have been necessary.

    • wijayapala

      You have to admit that it is far superior to the Darusman report. At least the LLRC knew who the Defence Secretary is!

      • Nihal Perera

        The LLRC report is based on testimony collected from people who testified in the presence of the military. There was no witness protection mechanism in place. So it is not reasonable to expect that the Tamil witnesses would directly incriminate the military. Why else, for example, do you think the LLRC report says nothing about the rackeetering, extortion, and prostitution schemes that went on at the IDP camps? Wikileaks says far more about that.

      • Nihal Perera

        Despite Sri Lanka’s assurances that witnesses would be protected, her details were passed on to the law enforcement authorities.

        “LLRC told me to attend the interview. I am afraid to attend it alone as I am fear of my security, people who gave me a hard time after testifying in front of LLRC are there”,

        http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=3901

      • Burning_Issue

        One also has to pay attention to the remit and timeframe. The UN Panel report achieved its objectives within the remit and timeframe.

      • wijayapala

        Burning_Issue

        One also has to pay attention to the remit and timeframe. The UN Panel report achieved its objectives within the remit and timeframe.

        How long did the Darusman panel need to find out who the Defence Secy is?

      • wijayapala

        Nihal, thank you for quoting such an unbiased and truthful website like Tamil Guardian. Oh by the way, did it ever report Prabakaran’s death?

      • Nihal Perera

        It is a well-known fact that witnesses were threatened.

        In November, people who came forward to give evidence before the Commission in Kayts Island, Jaffna, were reportedly threatened by armed men alleged to be members of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP). In subsequent sessions there were reports that witnesses and Commissioners were photographed by members of the security forces.

        http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/03/llrc-is-not-credible-domestic-process.html

  • When Jim McDonald, AI’s Sri Lanka ‘Country Specialist’ was asked for his views of Eelam War 4, he questioned Sri Lanka’s legitimate right to destroy the LTTE.

    Jim said:

    “2. I don’t buy that argument. There were other options available to the government. It didn’t have to kill thousands of civilians.

    3. The fact is, the Sri Lankan government never sought a political solution to the ethnic conflict or to try to undercut what support the LTTE had from the Tamil population by showing that the government was prepared to meet some demands for autonomy.

    4. Furthermore, the government could have taken other steps towards the end of the war to minimize civilian casualties, by making greater efforts to avoid attacks against the civilians.”

    So, Amnesty’s prescription was more ‘Talks with Tigers’ and ‘Political devolution’.

    And the predictable shrieks of outrage from ICG and HRW to the LLRC’s report and conclusions are entirely predictable. Their whining would be more tolerable if they had deigned to put in an appearance at the LLRC submissions, which they with typical arrogance declined on the grounds that the LLRC wasn’t perfectly set up to their standards.

  • It’s a well-known fact that despite these threats, these brave civilians still insisted on testifying to the LLRC.

    It’s a well-known fact that the quote is taken directly from an article written by Amnesty’s Yolanda Foster.

    It’s a well-known fact that Yolanda Foster was most recently seen promoting C4’s ‘Killing Fields’ with an activist drone from the British Tamil Federation, a tedious Eelamist front group. http://tinyurl.com/cmtw854

    It’s a well-known fact that Amnesty were invited to give evidence at the LLRC. They petulantly declined claiming that the LLRC wasn’t good enough for them. Amnesty could’ve given objective, hard-hitting evidence directly to the LLRC, made GoSL’s evasions less credible and emboldened Sri Lanka’s own HR organisations. Instead, they sat on their hands in New York and London sipping their frappucinos.

    It’s a well-known fact that another Eelamist front group, the Canadian Tamil Congress recently raised $50,000 for Amnesty. Check out the videos, they’re great. Finally, Amnesty aren’t afraid to admit receiving cash from the CTC.
    http://amnesty.akaraisin.com/Common/Event/Home.aspx?seid=4176&mid=8

    It’s a well-known fact that Amnesty now complain from the sidelines about the LLRC report.

    • Nihal Perera

      It’s a well-known fact that despite these threats

      When the defendant(s) (or acquaintances of the defendant(s)) are allowed to threaten victims/witnesses/judges etc, the judicial process can no longer be said to be unbiased or independent. As anyone with two brain cells can infer, the testimony of said witnesses is likely to be lacking , in that certain important details are left out, for obvious reasons. The LLRC is yet another example of the failure of the Sri Lankan judiciary to conduct an independent investigation, free of political interference. We don’t need Yolanda Foster to tell us this. Without adequate witness protection, there is no such thing as an independent judiciary , regardless of whether the presiding judge is Mother Teresa or Mahinda Rajapakse.

      • @ Nihal: The LLRC isn’t a judicial process but an investigation. And despite threats and intimidation, war-affected Tamil civilians still testified which is a testament to their bravery.

        If the LLRC is biased, then so is Amnesty, which now openly proclaims receiving donations from pro-Eelam groups. We should discount any pronouncement by Amnesty on the LLRC or any related matter.

        Since witness protection is obviously lacking in Sri Lanka, the obvious thing to have done would’ve been to have waited for another decade or so when Sri Lankan society would’ve developed to a point to be able to afford a witness protection system. The LLRC should have been held in 2020. Anyone with one brain cell can see that, no?

        p.s. as you’re so concerned for the well-being of all of Sri Lanka’s citizens, did you go to testify before the LLRC? If not, why not?

      • Nihal Perera

        The LLRC was headed by a panel of so-called judicial experts. Their objective was to determine whether the LTTE and Sri Lankan armed forces had broken certain laws , both domestic and international, based on the evidence. This kind of investigation is part of any judicial process. The fact that these legal experts chose to selectively ignore key pieces of evidence and exonerate the military of any wrong-doing when it came to the worst violations, is not coincidental, but endemic to the Sri Lankan judicial process, which is plagued by political interference. It is true that the LLRC did not have the power to convict; but that should not matter, as their “politically favorable” verdict is as clear as broad daylight. The evidence presented by certain Tamils that chose to testify is also questionable in certain respects – compared to the evidence given presented by the BBC, Wikileaks, the 3 Tamils doctors who were forced to retract their statements by GOSL, the Darusman Report, and the CH4 tape – numerous contradictions arise. For example, Gothabaya Rajapakse is on record saying that hospitals are a legitimate target. Then you have reports of PTK hospital being shelled, with 67 dead, a claim supported by the UN and a Tamil doctor on the scene. The LLRC avoids this issue, which is equivalent to exonerating the government of a war-crimes charge:

        “Although the commission is not in a position to come to a definitive conclusion in determining responsibility that one party or the other was responsible for the shelling, nevertheless given the number of representations made by civilians that shells had in fact fallen on hospitals causing damage to the hospitals and in some instances loss or injury to civilian lives, consideration should be given to the expeditious grant of appropriate redress to those affected after due inquiry as a humanitarian gesture which would instil confidence in the reconciliation process.

        If you admit that witnesses were threatened, then it doesn’t matter whether Amnesty is biased or not, unless you also presume that Amnesty is the one that did the intimidated. If witnesses were threatened, then it means that they were unable to tell the whole truth, that other potential witnesses would have been discouraged from testifying, and that the conclusions drawn by the LRRC are skewed.

  • By your brilliant logic, it was a complete waste of time to have established and held the LLRC. Give Gota a ring and advise him to cancel the findings.

    p.s. If you feel so strongly about it, why didn’t you to come to Colombo and give these submissions directly to the commissioners?

    • Nihal Perera

      You are correct, the LLRC was a waste of time. This was supposed to be Sri Lanka’s version of a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” but it failed miserably. Compare with the South African version, which is superior on all accounts:

      The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a court-like restorative justice[1] body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution.

      The TRC, the first of the nineteen held internationally to stage public hearings, was seen by many as a crucial component of the transition to full and free democracy in South Africa. Despite some flaws, it is generally (although not universally) thought to have been successful.[2]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_and_Reconciliation_Commission_%28South_Africa%29

      The TRC was so eager to get to the truth that it went to the extent of granting amnesty to some perpetrators, in exchange for their testimony. On the TRC website, http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/reparations/index.htm, it says that many victims were offered 30,000 Rand compensation. You can also see that the TRC interviewed a much wider spectrum of society than did the LLRC: http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/special/index.htm.

      • @ Nihal (aka Heshan)
        The LLRC will only be a waste of time depending on the degree of implementation of its recommendations. Comparisons with the TRC really are a waste of time. Different conflict, a different country, political situation etc. The TRC was good for South Africa, but Sri Lanka isn’t South Africa.

        Reconciliation to be accompanied by threats of war-crimes trials, aided and abetted by the usual suspect? You must be delusional. India and Russia have already indicated their pro-GoSL position vis-à-vis the LLRC, so I can confidently predict more gnashing and wailing by the human rights overseers in Geneva or wherever else they happen to congregate.

        p.s. I applaud your obvious concern for all of Sri Lanka’s citizens’ human rights and well-being. So what prevented you from coming to Colombo, Boosa or Puttalam to testify before the LLRC? Lack of vacation time in the US ?

      • Nihal Perera

        Not surprising to see that you fail to see any connection between the LLRC and the TRC. I have come across similar arguments for devolution. That you fail to see why the LLRC was a failure is not at all important; all the big names in the business have dismissed it. And the usual rogues – Russia, India, Ambassador Jayatillake – have unanimously endorsed it. I would point out, however, that in terms of precedent , the LLRC Report sets a very bad example. Of course, I don’t expect someone such as yourself to understand that point either, so I will not elaborate.

        P.S: I have no connection to “Heshan” (in another thread I was labelled “Tamil”… you nationalists ought to take a vote!), and I do not wish to testify before a band of bigots.

      • Nihal/Heshan, the TRC and the LLRC were set up with completely different objectives in mind. The TRC was part of the deal offered by the winning side (the blacks) to the losing side (the whites) to ensure they stepped down and didn’t prolong the conflict. Ie it was to achieve final victory over the Apartheid state. The sweetener in the TRC was that it offered a way out for the Apartheid government which feared its agents would be prosecuted/persecuted for what they had done in defence of the state. The TRC guaranteed that those coming before it would be free of punishment in exchange for full disclosure and contriteness (except in extreme cases of multiple murders, etc). So to say that amnesty was given out of over-eagerness, as you claim, is to reveal that you haven’t understood the purpose of the TRC; amnesty was always what it was offering the perpetrators.

        On the other hand, the LLRC wasn’t set up as a means to achieve victory over the Tigers. That victory was complete. It is in fact a method to get at the truth and bring about reconciliation.

      • @ Nihal/Heshan,
        The “big names” have given the LLRC qualified approval. The UK, US, EU have adopted a ‘wait and see’ policy. China, Russia, India and others have been broadly supportive.

        International ‘humanitarians’ have predictably dismissed most of it out of hand, but their craven whining can be ignored, given that AI in particular now get financial support from pro-LTTE front groups. It’s now up to MR & co to make a complete hash of implementing even some of the basic recommendations of the LLRC.

        Odd that you were too principled to testify before the LLRC, yet hundreds of ordinary Tamil civilians did so, despite instances of intimidation setting a wonderful precedent that you were unwilling or unable to emulate. Vacation days are in short supply in the US, no?