The US government has welcomed President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s intention to establish a Commission on Lessons Learned and Reconciliation to examine key aspects of the recently ended conflict in Sri Lanka and added that the findings of the commission should be made public.
Susan E. Rice, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, in a statement said that experience in other countries has shown that commissions of inquiry can play a valuable role in advancing accountability when they are appropriately constituted and enjoy broad public support.
She added that particularly important in this regard, broad experience has shown that to be effective in advancing accountability and reconciliation, commission members should be and be perceived as independent, impartial and competent; their mandate should enable them fully to investigate serious allegations of violations and to make public recommendations; commission members and potential witnesses must enjoy adequate and effective protection; the commission must receive adequate resources to carry out its mandate; and the Government should undertake to give serious consideration to its recommendations.
“We hope the commission will also reflect the desires and requests of the citizens of Sri Lanka, who were the primary victims of the conflict. Being responsive to their needs will be an important measure of the commission’s success. In light of these general principles, we would welcome the Sri Lankan Government's commitment to give the Commission on Lessons Learned and Reconciliation a mandate to probe violations of international standards during the final stages of the conflict and to identify those responsible and, we would expect, to make appropriate public recommendations based on its findings,” the US envoy to the UN said.