The commission has been appointed by the Sinhalese government, which opposes an international enquire · The measure has been criticised by human rights and Tamil organizations arguing the commission is nothing but an eyewash · The UN appointed a special panel to advise the Sri Lankan commission on accountability.
The Commission on Lessons Learned and Reconciliation, established several months ago by the Government of Sri Lanka, opened on Wednesday with the first session which should throw light on the final offensive of the Sinhalese army against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) carried out in May 2009.
The commission is a clear message sent by Colombo to the international community, particularly the UN and Sri Lanka's allies UK and the US, on the country's decision to reject an independent international enquire commission. According to The Independent, the commission chairman, C. R. de Silva, made it clear that "the time has come to consolidate the military victory by addressing the root causes of the conflict and establish national integrity and reconciliation".
Human rights groups claim that this situation will prevent accusations of war crimes perpetrated in the last stage of the fighting by both the army and the rebels from being examined.
Suren Surendiran, a member of the Global Tamil Forum, declared that "Sri Lanka has fooled the international community for so long" and that "this commission is another one of those eyewashes. All we ask is justice for the thousands who perished in the last few weeks and months and years leading up to the end of the war last year."
In order to minimize the risk of a failing commission the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed a three-member panel to advise the Sri Lankan commission on ensuring accountability for the events occurred in the late spring of 2009.