( Dozens of former LTTE leaders missing after surrendered themselves to the Military in May 2009)
The Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons informed last week that it had reached a bottleneck as the Ministry of Defence had not complied with a request made by the Commission asking for the list of names of those who had surrendered to the security forces during the terminal phase of the war.
Chairman of the Commission, retired High Court Judge Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama said that sometime back the Commission had requested the said information from the Ministry of Defence but had not received any reply back.
It was previously reported that the Department of Prisons too in a similar manner had not complied with requests with regards to information about those who had surrendered during the final stages of the war. Elsewhere, it was also reported that requests by the Commission for lists of names and details of Sri Lankans living as refugees and political asylum seekers in India and certain European countries, had been denied on the grounds of domestic laws and security related reasons.
“The Ministry of Defence directed the Department of Prisons of the Ministry of Prison Reforms to provide information about prisoners, which we received. We had reason to believe that the Ministry of Defence had some more information including about people under detention. Information concerning these we did not receive,” he said.
“We will make an effort again next week to contact the Ministry of Defence in this regard. Foreign countries declined to divulge information about those in camps as they had their own rules and regulations. We wrote through the previous Foreign Ministry under the earlier Government. While the United Kingdom wrote back saying that they cannot give the said information, other countries did not write back,” he added.
Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said the matter was a sensitive one.
Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that while he did not know whether the previous request for the said information had come to him, if a fresh request in writing was made by the Commission to him, the Ministry would make available information that was in the possession of the Ministry.
(Original Caption: Defence Ministry Snubs)
By Ruwan Laknath Jayakody and Arthur Wamanan / The Nation