The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints of Missing Persons observed that they had not been provided with a reason or reasons for the disbandment of the Commission and observed that such had been the agenda of certain non-governmental organizations which had prevailed at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Chairman of the Commission, retired High Court Judge Maxwell Parakrama also noted that their work had yet to be completed, adding that they had not requested an extension of their mandate which has now come to a close, as the Government had decided to establish an Office of Persons, as per the UNHRC resolution, to takeover the work of the Commission.
The Government may not have wanted to disband the Commission but had to do so at the instigation of certain non-governmental organizations which pressured for this to be done in the UNHRC resolution, and the Government has to now comply, he opined.
Our investigating team has found that 10 persons who had been alleged to be missing had been living elsewhere in various places, both here and also abroad, under aliases, he remarked.
The draft of the bill to institute an Office of Missing Persons has been approved by the Cabinet and is to be presented to Parliament, he explained, adding that he had seen the draft bill once.
The Commission has finalized the report pertaining to the work completed by the Commission until July 18 this year and has dispatched a letter this week to President Maithripala Sirisena, seeking a date to present the said report.
“We wanted to get at the truth. Since these matters concern a 30 year war, can we be expected to finish this quickly and soon? We were doing a tough job. We sat from 8.30 a.m. till 7 p.m. listening to 250 persons a day. We hope things will be better for the people,” Paranagama emphasized.