COLOMBO: A Sri Lanka
n government commission`s inquiry into the conduct of the island`s civil war has cleared the military of deliberately targeting civilians in the final stages of the conflict.
In a 400-page report presented in parliament on Friday, the commission said it was satisfied the military`s strategy had given the highest priority to protecting the civilian population.
The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was created by President Mahinda Rajapakse
in May 2010, a year after the military`s victory over separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.
Sri Lanka has resisted all calls for an independent probe, saying the LLRC investigation would suffice, even though the commission was not mandated to probe war crimes allegations.
The movement of the security forces in conducting their operations was deliberately slow during the final stages of the conflict, thereby evidencing a carefully worked out strategy of avoiding civilian casualties or minimising them, the commission`s report said.
It also blamed the Tamil Tigers for targeting and killing civilians who tried to flee to safety.