Two important Presidential Commission reports regarding alleged human rights violations during the country’s civil war are due to be tabled in Parliament and made public early next month. One of these is the interim report compiled by the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons (PCICRMP), also known as the ‘Paranagama Commission’ after its chairman, retired High Court Judge Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama. The other is the report compiled by the Presidential Commission headed by retired Justice Nissanka Udalagama.
At the 30th sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, the Sri Lankan Government made a commitment to publically release the Presidential Commission reports. Additionally, President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also told editors of newspapers and heads of media institutions that the reports would be made public before the end of the month.
However, Parliament is due to reconvene on October 6 and it is expected that the government would table the reports in Parliament on that date, making them public.
The Paranagama Commission investigated complaints regarding missing persons resident in the Northern and Eastern provinces of the country which were affected by the conflict during the period from June 10, 1990 to May 19, 2009. Appointed in August 2013 as per recommendations made to the President in the report compiled by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the Paranagama Commission is now in its second mandate. The second interim report of the first mandate was handed over to the Presidential Secretariat in mid-August.
The Udalagama Commission, meanwhile, was appointed in 2006 to look into a series of high-profile alleged human rights violations beginning from August, 2005. Incidents probed by the commission include the massacre of 17 aid workers of from a French Non Governmental Organization (NGO) in Muttur and the killing of five youths in Trincomalee. Though the commission handed over its report in 2007 after the expiry of its mandate, the report has not been made public up to now.