Lanka to set up ethnic reconciliation panel

Last Updated: Wed, May 05, 2010 05:17 hrs

Colombo: Sri Lanka plans to set up a reconciliation commission to foster ethnic unity.

National newspaper the Daily News quoted Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne saying, "The commission is expected to prevent the communities falling into an unfortunate situation again."

The details of the proposed commission are yet to be revealed.

There has been tension between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils on the island for decades. Last May, Government troops defeated the Tamil Tiger, who were fighting for an ethnic Tamil homeland.

Sri Lanka's parliament is expected to approve scaled-down emergency laws Wednesday, withdrawing some of the wide powers granted to the police and security forces in dealing with the Tamil separatists.

Jayaratne told parliament Tuesday that easing of emergency regulations would not lead to the automatic release of 11,700 Tamil rebel suspects who have been in detention for over a year.

The UN estimates that up to 100,000 people died in Sri Lanka's Tamil separatist conflict after the Tiger rebels first emerged in 1972.

Sri Lanka to relax state of emergency

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