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Rajapaksa to head to New Delhi in June

world Updated: May 17, 2010 18:51 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

A retired attorney general will head an eight-member commission appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate the failure of the Norway-brokered ceasefire between the Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers, which was followed by the final phase of the war against the rebels.

"Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission" comprising former lawyers, diplomat, academics and a former judge is expected to submit the report in the six months, a statement from Rajapaksa's office said.

The ceasefire was operationalised in February 2002 but renewed fighting had begun to mar it within a couple of years.

The Commission would report whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly was responsible for the breakdown of the fragile ceasefire.

The members would also recommend measures to be taken to prevent the recurrence of such concerns in the future and promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities.

The announcement of the Commission comes as Rajapaksa government celebrates one year of the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The slain LTTE chief V Prabhakaran's death was announced on May 18, 2009, by former army chief, Sarath Fonseka, as the Lankan army surrounded and wiped out the rebel leadership and remaining cadres on a thin slice of coast on the north-eastern district of Mullaitivu. Meanwhile, Rajapaksa will visit India on June 8, PTI reported from Tehran.

The visit was announced after a meeting between Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and his Lankan counterpart G. L. Peiris on the sidelines of the G15 summit in Tehran on Sunday.

"The visit is planned for June 8," Krishna said after the meeting.

Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had last met in Thimphu on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit. The two Ministers also discussed about the Sri Lankan President's visit.