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Probe launched on missing in East

2014 Mar 21

The Presidential Commission to investigate cases of persons from the Northern and Eastern Provinces who went missing during the period between 1990–2009 commenced its first public sittings in the eastern part of the country in the Batticaloa District today, a Government statement said.

The public hearings take place from March 20–22, 2014, in the towns of Chenkallady, Vakarai and Batticaloa, covering 56 Grama Niladhari Divisions in the district.

The Commission will hear oral submissions of those persons who have already submitted their complaints and it will also register any new complainants on the days of the public sittings.

The Commission held its first public sittings in the Northern Province from January 18–21, 2014 in Kilinochchi, where it heard complaints from 440 people. Another 984 people made submissions from Feb. 14–17, 2014, when the Commission conducted its sittings in the Jaffna District.

The Commission has thus far received a total of approximately 16,000 complaints from all parts of the country. Of those complaints, approximately 9,300 are of civilian disappearances while 4,300 are of disappearances of security personnel.

The three-member Commission, comprising Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama (Chairman), Mrs. Dimingu Badathuruge Priyanthi Suranjana Vidyaratne and Mrs. Mano Ramanathan, has been given the authority to conduct inquiries and investigations necessary, and submit a report to the President.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa had extended the mandate of the Commission by another six months until August 2014.

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