Probe commission will go to the people

By Leon Berenger

Foreigners will be among others who will be invited to make submissions to the Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation, Mr. C.R. De Silva, the Chairman of the eight-member panel told the Sunday Times.

He said that the main aim of the Commission is to visit the affected areas in the North and East and other areas. The chief reason to visit the affected areas is to give those wishing to make submissions easy access to the Commission, instead of requiring them to come all the way to Colombo.

“Furthermore it will also break any fear psychosis and encourage affected persons to come forward and make their submissions. Those opting to make submissions in camera will also be provided with such an opportunity”, Mr. De Silva added.

The main purpose of the Commission is to gather first hand information from the affected areas with the Commission being currently engaged in drawing up a work plan as a part of this process, he said.
He said people representing a cross section of views will be encouraged to assist the Commission and this could include even foreign nationals.

“The whole idea of the Commission is to maintain credibility and transparency and show the international community that the Government has begun working towards this end”, Mr. De Silva added.
The Commission has already published notices in all three languages in the local media calling for written representations on or before August 18 this year. A release by the Commission on Friday stated the initial focus has been on institutional matters to set the stage for public hearings.

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