World / Asia-Pacific

Sri Lanka to appoint new local commission to probe war

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-23 16:03

COLOMBO - Sri Lanka's new government will appoint an independent domestic commission to probe the last stages of the country's civil war that ended in 2009, a minister said on Friday.

Cabinet Spokesperson and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne told Xinhua that the commission will consist of professionals who will launch a full inquiry into alleged human rights violations in the last months of the war against the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.

He said discussions with all political party leaders will also be held regarding the appointment of the commission.

"We will consult other party leaders as well. The commission will comprise of professionals who are capable of conducting the inquiry. We will appoint the commission soon," Senaratne said.

Following the Jan. 8 presidential election, newly-elected President Maithripala Sirisena's government had pledged to investigate the alleged rights violations in the final stages of the civil war.

Former President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government had been under repeated pressure from the UN and international human rights watchdogs to conduct an international probe into the end of the three-decade war.

Rajapakse's government had stood firm that it would not allow any international probe, assuring that no human rights violations had taken place.

However in a run-up to the presidential poll, Rajapakse promised a judicial inquiry into allegations that his troops had killed thousands of Tamil civilians at the end of the war as pressure mounted from his opponent.

He reiterated that he would not cooperate with a UN-mandated investigation.

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