By Sherwani Synon and Indika Sri Aravinda
The three forces commanders and other senior military officials testified before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) this evening, which was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look back at the incidents which took place during the war.
Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Tissera Samarasinghe and Air Force Commander Roshan Gunatillaka were among those who testified at the commission hearing held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar institute in Colombo.
Speaking at the hearing the Army Chief said that the ICRC, which was present in the North during the final stages of the conflict, did not lodge any complaints against the military.
He also said that although there is a large army presence in the North despite the end of the war, the numbers will be gradually reduced and the police will be deployed to carry out civil administration.
The former Commander of the army 58th division Major General Shavendra Silva also spoke before the commission and claimed that the civilians escaping from the LTTE were shot from behind.
He substantiated this statement saying that during the final stages of the war, the army approached the LTTE from two corners which resulted in the LTTE firing towards the security forces in front, thereby shooting civilians escaping from the LTTE from behind.
The Major General also said that there is medical evidences to substantiate this claim and that the commission can also speak to civilians who escaped from the LTTE initially as they would have been subjected to the shooting by the LTTE. (Daily Mirror online)