The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints of Missing Persons revealed that more than 4,000 out of over 19,000 complaints received by them so far have been found to be false.
Chairman of the Commission, retired High Court Judge, Maxwell Parakrama told Nation that the Commission was presently engaged in counting the number of such false complaints and that the number was likely to be more.
“The Commission’s investigation team has completed work on over 350 files”, he added.
Secretary to the Commission, Hewa Wasalage Gunadasa added that there were duplications, with the Commission receiving five to six petitions regarding one allegedly missing person, lodged by various members of the missing person’s family living in various parts of the island.
Paranagama confirmed that the number of such duplicates were over 3,000, with the figure once again likely to rise.
When queried as to whether a mechanism would have to be put in place to check or ensure the credibility of those lodging the complaints and the veracity of their complaints, and whether this situation would jeopardize the work of the Commission, Paranagama remarked that, “the problem right now is that we have only heard one side of the story, which is the one of the complainant, and therefore we would have to summon the relevant Army officers for explanations, prior to arriving at any final conclusions.”
He declined to comment on the Government’s proposed move to establish an Office of Missing Persons, saying that such was a political decision.
“The sheer volume of work to be done is terrible. We have done our best and are doing our best,” he explained.